The win over South Tahoe came one week after the Railroaders (17-2-1) were saddled with a 3-3 tie against the Vikings that cost Sparks the outright league title. The Railroaders scored two own-goals in the tie.
Sparks plays Truckee for the DI-A North Region title Saturday at Fallon. Start time is scheduled for noon between the two schools which split their regular-season series. Both advance to the state tournament regardless of the outcome.
The Vikings started the scoring, without the help of the Railroaders, in the third minute after driving home a rebounded shot attempt.
Scoring opportunities were limited for the Vikings who were held to five shots on goal and a lone corner kick.
Sparks’ Juan Hernandez tied the match in the 32nd minute with the first of his two goals, off a free kick. The free kick was created by heavy pressure from Sparks’ standout Ruben Pacheco who was kept off the score sheet but occupied several South Tahoe defenders throughout the game.
“Ruben was overloaded today,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said.
Joseph Dominguez gave the Railroaders a 2-1 advantage four minutes later.
The score remained 2-1 through halftime and well into the second half before the Vikings tied the match in the 68th minute. The tie was short-lived however as Hernandez added his second tally of the match six minutes later on a penalty kick.
“I’m very proud of all the boys… It was good game by all,” Avilla said. “We look forward to playing Truckee tomorrow.”