Lassen High School's soccer teams are in good position
The boys succumbed for the first time in league play, falling to Gridley 4-0 on the road Tuesday, Jan. 9, but rebounded to beat Orland 3-1 at home Thursday, Jan. 11. The girls came back to edged Gridley 2-1 and made short work of Orland 3-0. A strong defensive effort wasn't good enough to derail the Bulldog attack.
"Pete Datema (goalie) played a good game and made several very good saves," Lassen coach Dan Bruce said. "The defense was anchored by Dan Nareau at sweeper, Kevin Lyman at left defender, Joey Deal at center defender, Mike Keating at right defender and Johan Kampfraat in the midfield. Gridley was quick and slippery field conditions made defending difficult."
Gridley led 3-0 at halftime and never looked back.
Lassen head coach Matti Ripatti revamped the lineup for the Orland game and it paid off.
On defense, Kyle Ezparza played in goal, Mike Nielson moved to sweeper, Aurelio Sanchez went to center defender and Deal switched to right defender. On offense, Nareau moved to left midfielder.
After a scoreless first half, Lassen's Jouni Kinnunen scored at the 4:30 mark on a powerful shot just under the bar from 16 yards out.
Kinnunen then scored on a penalty kick and Dillon Moore followed with goal courtesy of assists from Kinnunen and Scott Gill.
Last week's split moved the boys to 3-1 in the WSL.
The girls improved to 3-0-1 despite a scare from Gridley.
"Gridley was better than I expected," Lassen head coach Steve Datema said. "They came at us strong and caught us off guard a bit. But it turned out to be good game for the girls. They worked hard to get back in the game, and by winning, it was good for them mentally."
The Bulldogs scored five minutes into the game and led 1-0 at the half.
The Grizzlies went right to work in the second half with Linda Vazquez tying the game on an assist from Nicole Harris. Then with two minutes remaining, Harris broke free for an unassisted goal to win it.
Orland failed to put up much of a fight.
'"It was a pretty easy game. We missed out on a lot of scoring opportunities. It should have been 4-0 after five minutes," Datema said.
Courtney Oates punched in an unassisted goal to start off the scoring. LeAnn McCracken followed with a score and Holly Struve ricocheted the ball off two Orland defenders for the final goal.
Datema has switched around his lineup to maximize the team's scoring power. Harris is now at outside right halfback, Elise Estes moved to sweeper with Crystal Perkins, Jessa Shelley and Struve anchoring the defense as Melissa Savage stands in the goal.
"It has worked out real well so far," Datema said.
League play resumes at Susanville's Riverside Park Tuesday, Jan. 16 against Corning. The girls play at 3:15 p.m., followed by the boys at 5:15 p.m.