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Soccer team advances

Making its first state tournament appearance since 2011, Boulder City High School girls soccer team is ready to come away with a state title.

Achieving a 17-4-1 record leading up to state play at Wooster High School in Reno, Nevada, the Lady Eagles remain poised and confident in their ability to finish the job, despite falling to rival Virgin Valley 2-1 in the 3A Southern Regional championship game Saturday, Nov. 9, at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex in Las Vegas.

“The girls aren’t as excited about going to state as I thought they would be,” head coach Arnold Oeland said. “They’re more determined about it. When we talked about how great of a season we’ve had, they already moved past that point and had their sights set on winning a state championship. What I love about this team is they stay focused, they are determined to play their game and they don’t care who’s in front of them.

“The loss against Virgin Valley only motivates them,” Oeland said. “They know that we control the ball for the majority of the game and feel confident that the outcome can be different. What I love about this group is they don’t dwell on loses. We learn from it and figure out ways to be better and move on from it.”

Tied 1-1 after regulation play, the Lady Eagles lost on an overtime goal to the Bulldogs, snapping a six-game winning streak. Their last loss came against Virgin Valley on Oct. 15 in a 2-1 road defeat.

“I think our biggest problem is the travel,” Oeland said. “We’re getting to our opponents’ field too early and we have an adrenaline dump. We’re hoping to eliminate that when we go to state in order to keep the players focused and ready. I’ve seen our girls pumped up for games and then they sit around for two hours and kind of lose their edge. We’re changing it up for this Reno trip and hopefully we’ll be better because of it.”

Scoring a goal in the second half for the Lady Eagles was junior Kiara Krasner, who was assisted by senior Erin Taggard.

Defeating Western 2-1 on Nov. 6, senior Makena Arboreen continues to play a big role in her return to the team, scoring one goal and dishing out an assist.

“Having her back has been huge for us,” Oeland said. “Not only is she a senior captain and a great player, but she continues to diversify our offense. Having another capable goal scorer only makes it harder for other teams to cover us.”

Scoring a goal as well for the Lady Eagles was freshman Genevieve Balmer, assisted by junior Barbara Williams.

The leading goal scorer in the 3A classification with 25 goals, Balmer added five goals in Boulder City’s opening-round win against Mojave.

“Genevieve has been absolutely amazing for us,” Oeland said. “She’s very poised out there as a freshman and has a determination about her that is quite unique. Everything she does is thought out — what angle she going to try to score from, passing it off to another player if she doesn’t have the goal opportunity. She is a very precise player and unselfish player. The way she plays and the rest of the team plays is beautiful. We aren’t looking to force shots on the goal; if they don’t have a clear look, they pass it off to someone who does and everyone benefited from it.”

The Lady Eagles will play Truckee in the opening round of the state tournament at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, looking to bring home their first state title in the school’s history.

Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.

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