MINDEN - A game played this evenly generally does just come down to the ball rolling one way or the other at the right time.
Courtney Lenhart found herself in precisely the right spot, hammering the ball home on an empty net to lift the Douglas girls' soccer team over South Tahoe 1-0 Tuesday afternoon..
Douglas' Rachel Van Roy chipped a perfect entry pass from midfield to the top center of the penalty box where the South Tahoe keeper collided with speedy Tigers' forward Morgan LeFever, sending the ball rolling out to the right wing in the 69th minute.
Lenhart was following the play, charging up the side and was right there when the ball rolled almost directly to her feet. She barely hesitated before cracking a shot to the top right corner for the decisive goal.
The Vikings nearly scored on an incredibly similar play 15 minutes earlier when Douglas keeper Hillary Winans charged about 30 yards out of the net to get in the way of Cassidy Berg's shot.
The ball carromed to the outside where South Tahoe's Bailey Flood was able to get a solid shot on net from about 25 yards out, but Winans chased it down just in front of the net to make the save.
Both squads traded solid, and sometimes breathtaking, scoring chances throughout the game, with South Tahoe more than once sending the ball rolling across the face of an empty net, and Douglas setting up several beautiful corner kick chances.
Most of the battle took place in the midfield during an exceptionally physical game. Time of possession was generally equal, but South Tahoe did have a slight edge in creating more scoring opportunities. It was just a matter of who was able to finish first.
Douglas' defense of Alicia Sturgess, Meghan Olsen, Jessi Chitwood, Allison Andraski and Katie Nalder did a good job of protecting the net and Winans had a number of big saves in recording the shutout.
Berg had a point-blank shot blocked in the first half and followed that up two minutes later with a near goal that Winans tipped away.
Douglas improved to 6-4 overall and 3-1 in Sierra Division play. South Tahoe slipped to 4-2 and 2-1.
The Vikings play host to Carson on Saturday.