Spring Creek ruined Fallon’s start to its road trip into Elko County 6-0 shutout over the Wave on Thursday as the Spartans scored five goals in the first half — four coming in the first 15 minutes of the contest.
“We had multiple opportunities on goal but never scored,” Fallon coach David Lopez said. “Communication really hurt the team in the first half. I made some defensive adjustments, which quickly kept them out of the net. The second half, we spent plenty of time on their half of the field but couldn’t execute on goal.”
Fallon, which lost to Elko the next day, traveled to South Tahoe on Tuesday and hosts Sparks at 4 p.m. for Senior Day.
In just the second minute, the lead changed for good.
Foreign-exchange student Albert Lahoz cashed the first goal on an assist from senior Noah Rice. Rice turned from passes to scorer on the Spartans’ next goal in the eighth minute — set up from a pass by senior forward Cade Carson for a 2-0 lead — the shot bouncing off a Fallon defender before finding a home in the frame.
The distribution of scoring continued in the 13th minute, junior Patrick Pemelton shooting and drilling a goal for a 3-0 lead. Two minutes removed from a three-goal cushion, the lead ballooned to four.
Carson got in the mix — Lahoz assisting — the ball tickling the twine for the fourth time. The next 20 minutes played out scoreless, head coach Tanner Rios inserting his bench players for the majority of the half.
In the 35th minute, Spring Creek struck once again. On a long ball down the field, Rice collected the pass and the run — Fallon’s defender drawing a handball penalty in the box on the left wing.
The Greenwave nearly scored on a clean shot from senior Bryan Ugalde, the ball flying high and over the crossbar. Another Fallon attempt from long distance missed wide-right.
On a nice pass down the right sideline, senior Caden Bowman tagged a shot from the wing — senior Brandon Shields earning some playing time between the posts as junior Jacob Rios peeled off the keeper jersey and moved the field, Shields making a diving save to his left.
On the other end, Rios took a direct kick at the Greenwave frame — the ball tagging the outside of the post.
In the 55th minute, the Spartans earned a corner kick. From the left flag, junior Jackson Jones knocked a gorgeous ball into the middle of the six-yard box. Rios lifted and headed the ball into the net for a 6-0 lead.
For the Greenwave, a defensive breakdown nearly cost the Spartans the shutout.
Senior Christian Andrade gained possession of the ball in the middle of the box and unaccounted for, but his shot rose and sailed over the frame.Freshman Spencer Anderson nearly opened a 7-0 advantage from the right side, the ball flying wide to the right.
Junior Matthew Fagundes drilled a shot for the Greenwave, but Shields made the save for the Spartans. From the middle of the field, Ugalde hammered a direct kick for Fallon — the ball on-target — Shields making a leaping stab and knocking the ball over the crossbar.
Fallon’s chance to score ended when a direct kick by Caesar Molina flew high and wide over the upper-right corner. After a quick blitzing in the first half and a score by its goalie after the break, the Spartans ripped off another 6-0 win — the Spartans scoring 12 goals in their last two games.
Elko posted a 3-0 shutout win over the Greenwave on Friday to keep its playoff hopes alive.
“It was a great game but again, we just could not execute shots on goal,” Lopez said. “We had shots that were just a tap into the net but some of our athletes feel that power in their shot is a must, which without control, sails over the goal. Sometimes, getting that lesson throughout athletes’ minds is very challenging, especially during a game. We played much better than Thursday and I was able to get a lot of subs some game time and I was very proud of how they played as well.”
Sophomore Alex Medrano took an early shot from the right wing that was saved by Fallon goalkeeper Cesar Molina, who also stopped a shot from the middle of the pitch by sophomore Spenser Jones.
On the other end, the Wave nearly scored an early goal of their own — Elko losing senior Bryan Ugalde. His open look from the middle of the box sailed over the crossbar. Another run toward the Indians’ frame was stopped with a kick in the back end by freshman Miguel Abarca.
Junior goalkeeper Eric Azcue made a save for Elko, but a kick from senior Julian Gonzalez was stuffed by Molina. Elko earned a corner kick but the ball was cleared out by a Fallon header, and a shot by Jones sailed high. From the left side of the pitch, a shot by senior Natu Meles was stopped.
However, the Indians put Meles in space a few moments later with a ball from the middle of the field. Ahead of the pack, Meles beat the goalie with a one-on-on — crossing his face from the right to the left side of the frame for the game’s first goal in the 16th minute.
The Indians nearly tacked on another goal as Meles and Molina met in the box for a potential header, the keeper flying high and grabbing the ball. Meles did, however, get his header.
From another corner kick, senior Gustavo Cortez sent a picture-perfect pass to the middle of the box — Meles placing his noggin on the ball and poking the shot home for a 2-0 advantage in the 21st minute. A shot from Fallon senior Caden Bowman was saved by Azcue.
Meles dribbled down the right side of the field to the corner and sent a cross pass to the box, Elko’s attempt clanging off the crossbar. On a rebound, senior Sammy Aguirre collected the ball but missed wide to the left.
Ugalde took a shot for the Wave but sent his kick over the upper-right corner, and two attempts from Elko’s Andres Salas flew over the Fallon frame. Abarca knocked a shot that was saved by the goalie, Molina making some remarkable stops with leaping and diving deflections on a direct kick by Cortez and several rebound kicks. To close the half, Meles nearly booked a hat trick — his shot from the right wing bouncing off the left post.
At the break, the Indians led 2-0.
To start the second half, the Indians switched up their lineup and put some different players in the back end on defense and allowed for some offensive chances for role players and defenders on the front side.
Senior Noe Guzman nailed a shot from the left wing — Molina diving for a save to his left — and freshman Hermon Meles drilled a line drive from the center, a leaping deflection knocking the ball high.
Hermon Meles nearly poked another shot out of the air on a volley from a corner kick, Molina notching another stop. Azcue made a solid stuff on a run down the right wing by Bowman, and Guzman unleashed another line drive on the other end for the Indians — Molina diving to his left for a save.
In the 50th minute, the lead grew to three.
From a corner kick, Gonzalez bodied a ball into the left side of the frame. The Greenwave almost found the board on a dribble and shot by freshman Yahir Ugalde on the right wing, — Azcue going to his knees and stamping the ball down. Junior Cole Hamlin collected the rebound, but Azcue slid in for a tackle and poked the ball away with his foot.
Down the stretch, senior Lisandro Rodriguez sent a ball over the frame — Natu Meles knocking a ball wide. Junior Jose Ventura thumped a ball wide to the left on a breakaway, and Aguirre poked a shot wide to the right — Elko’s last real chance to score a fourth goal ending with a kick over the frame by senior Chris Peres on a pass from Ventura. The Indians kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-0 victory, avenging a scoreless tie with the Greenwave on Sept. 20 in Fallon.