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HomeLocal SportsSoccer: Lassen Girls Win 3rd Straight, Now 1-0 in League

Soccer: Lassen Girls Win 3rd Straight, Now 1-0 in League

susanvilleautosports180by Niki Cunningham
Sports Editor

ereporter: Bob Nielsen

The Regular Season started Tuesday night for High School Soccer at Riverside Park, with the Lassen Grizzlies hosting the Yreka Miners.  In their second game of the pre-season, The Lady Grizzlies tied the Miners 0-0, so both teams came in looking to gain the upper hand on the season series.  The Grizzlies started off with a bang.  Having won the kick-off, they immediately worked the ball down the right side of the field, where Francis Lopez bounced a shot off the near post, narrowly missing a first-minute goal.  Lopez would go on to have her best game of the season, and was named player of the match for her intensity and smart play.  Lassen would keep that momentum throughout the half.  There were plenty of quality shots off the post or saved by Yreka keeper.  Coach Ayers was especially pleased by the quick ball movement and control that Lassen demonstrated. 
Defensively, the Grizzlies were also well represented. Lassen Keeper Hailey Chittock only had to make one save the first half, as the Lassen defense kept the Miners searching for an opening.  Each defender was not only solid at stopping the ball, but also at starting an offensive push off of turnovers.  Overall, the team played a very solid half of shut-out soccer, but the score remained tied as the shots just wouldn’t go in.  The ladies threatened all the way through the end of the half, with a shot by Jenna Monahan missing just wide and out of reach of Isabell Tyler in the last minute. 
After the half, the Grizzlies picked up the intensity a notch, and for the first 20 minutes, the shots kept coming.  Lassen moved well to the ball, winning many of the loose balls on the field.  However, the Miners were able to slip past the defense on a misplayed ball, and Center Forward Kendall Nielsen took the ball on a 50 yard sprint and put the ball to the back post for a 1-0 lead over the Grizzlies.  This was a real wake-up call for the Lassen offense.  Every previous time they had gone down by a point, they were unable to recover. 
Lassen responded 5 minutes later.  After working the ball down the right side, Lopez sent the ball into Monahan inside the penalty box, who worked herself free to her left side.  She put a left-footed shot down low, through traffic, into the back of the net at the far post.  Not finished, Lassen came down the right side again, this time with a nice entry pass by Captain Jessica Rorie that found Monahan in the box.  This time, Monahan moved the ball to her right foot and hit a blistering shot that went high and then dove down under the crossbar at the back post to put the Grizzlies ahead for good.  This is Monahan’s 6th goal in 10 games, making her the leading Grizzly scorer and 2nd overall in the league.    
Not content to play defense the rest of the game, Lassen kept the pressure up for the last 10 minutes, and nearly put in a third goal.  When the final whistle sounded, Lassen had their first league victory, coming from behind to beat the Yreka Miners by a score of 2-1.  The Grizzlies will be back in action Thursday evening in Redding against the Central Valley Falcons.    
Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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