The Pershing County girls soccer team expected Yerington to be a fierce opponent.
The Lions bounded onto Joe Yanni Field with eight returning seniors to Pershing County’s four.
But, ever resourceful, the Lady Mustangs had a plan.
“We wanted to try something different, so we flipped our field, putting our midfielders as forwards and some defenders in the midfield,” said Eva Matuszyk, the assistant coach.
For example, Cassidy Burke and Riley Soliman played midfield while Kylee Fuller transitioned from midfield to forward.
The Lady Mustangs lost (3-6), but, to the delight of the home crowd, they scored three goals in rapid succession.
It wasn’t easy. coach Matt Fuller dipped into the ice bucket to apply first aid to some strains and sprains. The Lady Mustangs gave it their all, running, sprinting, kicking and backpedaling for a full 80 minutes.
It was Lovelock’s first game under the lights of their home field. But not all the illumination came from the electrical system. The Mustangs played under the harvest moon.
“The game against Yerington was some of the most exciting Mustang soccer I’ve seen,” said Matuszyk. “Our girls did not give up.”
Kylee Fuller passed to herself and evaded Yerington defenders to shoot one of her two goals. Ana Paredes broke through the girls in purple, got a through pass and shot on goal.
“I stayed with the last defender and waited for the perfect pass,” said Paredes.
“Next time we play Yerington, it will still be a tough game. But I’m confident that if we practice on shooting, we’ll keep the score more even or even take a win,” said Matuszyk.
With the loss, Lovelock stands at 2-8, overall, and 0-3 in the 3A Northern League.
This Friday, Lovelock travels to West Wendover to face the Dust Devils. They blasted Wendover at preseason (6-0).
Saturday, Lovelock plays White Pine. The Ladycats scratched Pershing on Aug. 31 (4-0). But in high school soccer, anything can happen and probably will.
Pershing County travels to the Lions' den for another shot against Yerington on Sept. 27. The next day they head to Fernley to take on the Vaqueros.
Lovelock’s soccer seniors are Kyle’ Tupa, Ana Paredes, Cassidy Burke and Haylie Leavitt. Connie Kersnowski is a junior. Anna Jimenez and Kylee Fuller are sophomores.
The freshmen forwards include Hannah Gonzalez, Riley Soliman, Tavis Hunt, Mariana Espinoza, Karla Jimenez and Jennifer Chandler. Cora Trowbridge plays fullback and goalkeeper. But on a small team fluidity is the name of the game.
The Mustangs return to Joe Yanni Field on Oct. 3 to play their rival school, Battle Mountain. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. The coaches and players hope for packed bleachers.