By Tribune Staff
Sparks started its DI-A North title defense with a 3-1 weekend at Galena’s preseason tournament.
On Friday, Sparks topped Elko and Bishop Manogue.
In the first contest, Alexis Medina’s 28-yard unassisted blast held in a 1-0 victory of Elko—the team that took the regular-season league title away from the Railroaders last fall with a late-season upset.
The redemption victory, if you’re to call it that, comes with an asterisk however as all games in the tournament are played in two 25-minute halves as opposed to 40-minute regulation halves.
In the second game, Genaro Vazquez found the net twice to account for all of the Sparks’ offensive production in a 2-0 win over Bishop Manogue. Vazquez’s freshman brother, Erik, assisted one of the tallies with the other assist coming from Manny Mena.
On Saturday morning, the Railroaders suffered their first loss, to Incline Village in penalty kicks. Sparks jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the match but a “breakdown,” as coach Frank Avilla described it, allowed Incline to tie things up in the final two minutes of the first half.
A scoreless second half led to a penalty kicks which Incline won with the 20th and final kick.
The Railroaders made up for the loss in the next match, their last of the weekend, with a 1-0 win over North Valleys—the defending DI North champion.
Omar Vasquez scored the lone goal of the meeting with an assist from Genaro Vazquez.
Despite going 3-1 in the tournament, and allowing just two goals (both to Incline) Sparks did not advance to the tournament title game. Incline earned the spot on Sparks’ side despite also suffering a loss and allowing five goals.