LHS girls make playoffs, boys' fate still uncertain
Last Tuesday, the girls fell to Corning 4-0 on the road, but responded with a 2-0 win over Gridley at home two days later.
The split pushed the girls' league record to 7-1-1 with the regular season finale set for Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Orland.
League standings could not be confirmed at press time, but Lassen head coach Steve Datema said he would be surprised if his girls were not in first place.
"I don't really know what the standings are, but I can't think of another team that would be ahead of us," he said. "If nothing else, I'm confident we will be in the playoffs."
The playoffs begin Thursday, Feb. 15. A fifth consecutive league crown would assure Lassen of two home playoff games.
The girls played their poorest game of the season against Corning and suffered its worse loss in the program's history.
"We were missing some players and didn't play up to our capabilities," Datema said. "The girls didn't react well after we got two goals down. There's no excuses."
The team returned to form against Gridley as Courtney Oates and LeAnn McCracken netted unassisted goals.
"We were in control the whole game. They played well after the loss," Datema said.
Lassen's boys moved to 6-3 in league play, losing to Corning 2-1 and beating Gridley 1-0.
A small field work in Corning's favor, capitalizing on eight shots on goal compare to Lassen's 16. Long passes resulted in the Cardinals' goals with the game winner bouncing over goalkeeper Kyle Esparza's head at the 26-minute mark in the second half.
Dillon Moore scored Lassen's sole goal, scorning after a scramble in front of Corning's goal.
"We were frustrated by the small, hard field. It caused the ball to bounce high and we also had a lot of fouls called against us," Lassen coach Dan Bruce said.
The Grizzlies' best effort of the year led to an upset of Gridley. The league's dominated team, the Bulldogs attacked early and often, but came up empty courtesy of Dan Nareau at sweeper and Esparza in goal.
Twenty-four minutes into the game, Moore scored after a direct kick by Nareau. From there, it was defensive battle.
"Gridley is used to scoring early and became frustrated and lost its focus. After Dillon scored, the game's intensity picked up and Gridley tried everything to score. Our whole team came together and showed just how good of a team they can be. We can't be counted out of the playoffs," Bruce said.
The boys' league standings also could not be confirmed, but it appears Lassen needs a win over Orland this Tuesday to remain alive for the postseason.