Jesus Partida scored twice and assisted a third goal as Sparks handled Truckee, 3-1, in Friday’s 3A North semifinal at Lowry.
The Railroaders (22-2-1) advanced to the 3A North title game for at least the sixth straight year. They’ve won the last two regional titles and three of the last four. Truckee (15-5-3) suffered its third loss of the season to Sparks.
“We’re definitely battle tested,” Sparks coach Jose Espana said. “It’s a battle with Truckee always.”
With the win, Sparks also clinched a spot in next week’s state tournament. It was a rewarding feeling for Espana, who is in his first year leading the program after his mentor, Frank Avilla, stepped down in the offseason.
“I have some big shoes to fill,” Espana said. “It feels good to continue the tradition.”
Partida put Sparks in front in the 20th minute thanks to an assist from Bryan Munoz. Partida added an insurance tally three minutes before the half.
The Wolverines scored their lone goal of the day two minutes into the second half to creep within a goal.
Eric Cervantes put the game away in the 72nd minute. Partida assisted.
Sparks will play North Tahoe on Saturday, at Lowry, for the regional title. The Railroaders played the Lakers (12-4-6) to a scoreless tie then went to North Tahoe and left with a 2-0 win.
First touch is at 11 a.m.