by Niki Cunningham
ereporter Bob Nielsen
The #3 Lady Grizzlies hosted the #6 Live Oak Lions in Round 1 of the NSCIF Division II Girls Soccer Championship Tournament. The wasted no time establishing their dominance, controlling the ball and pace of the game. Through quick, accurate passing, the Grizzlies moved up and down the field, getting some good scoring opportunities early in the game. However, the Lion’s defense was anchored by quick and talented central defender, who kept the Grizzlies away from dangerous scoring situations.
Determined to take the lead, Lassen got an opportunity when the Lion’s handled the ball 35 Yards out from goal. Brenna Mendonca took the free kick, placing it over the hands of the Lion’s keeper and into the net. Minutes later, Briana Mendonca took a nice through ball for a break-away, but just missed the goal on a powerful shot.
With Lassen on the verge of breaking the game open, the shots kept coming, but none could find the back of the net. As the first half came to a close, Live Oak tied the game on a free kick that made it past the defense to an open attacker, who put the ball in the back corner.
In the second half, Briana Mendonca broke the tie through some good, aggressive play. She sent the ball through, towards goal, but it was deflected. Unfazed, she followed it up, and as the goalie bobbled the ball, Bri took it away, dribbled past the keeper and another defender to walk the ball into the net. Now up 2-1, the Grizzlies continue to pressure the goal, looking to cement their win with a third goal.
The Lions weren’t done, either. They mounted a sustained attack, but the Grizzly defense stymied every attempt, and goal keeper Hailey Chittock came up with a couple of nice saves. Lassen went back on the attack, and several crosses in front of the goal went unfinished. That changed when Captain Jessica Rorie sent a nice cross into the box, and Andrea Woodward put the ball between a couple of defenders to bring the final score to 3-1.
With the win, Lassen moves on to the next round of the tournament, as they face off against the #2 Orland Trojans in Orland on Tuesday.