The junior varsity field hockey team at Lassen High was on top of their game Wednesday, Sept. 20, and they were sure to broadcast the news. Unfortunately for the River Valley Falcons, the news didn’t reach them soon enough to help.
Ultimately, the Grizzlies won the game with a 3-1 score and smiles brimming.
Upon the game’s beginning whistle, River Valley started off strong and made their way into the Grizzly circle within the first 30 seconds. Fans were seen worrying about the Grizzlies’ fate, but it later became clear that Lassen was mocking the visiting team.
After forcing the ball from their circle, the Lady Grizzlies crossed the 50-yard line and made a stellar shot on goal. Though it wasn’t successful, the act was first of many to follow.
The Falcons made it back to the Grizzly circle with 20 minutes remaining of the half. But a block and a few defensive moves by Grace Gatie prevented a goal. River Valley earned a short corner while in the Grizzly circle, but all attempts for a goal were made unsuccessful due to Grizzly defense.
Upon seeing a break in the Falcon offensive line, Gatie dribbled through the gab and gained more than 30 yards for the Grizzlies. A pass from Gatie to Madi Smith up field led to the ball crossing the 50-yard line and entering Falcon territory.
Frantic hacking seen from the River Valley girls continually allowed Lassen to drive up the field. Thus, the Lady Grizzlies earned two consecutive short corners with little more than 10 minutes remaining of the half.
The Grizzlies continuously drove the ball toward the goal, but all shots on goal were unsuccessful.
River Valley eventually regained possession and retaliated against Lassen by dribbling the ball into Lassen’s 25. Before entering the Grizzly circle, though, Lassen regained possession.
Another breakaway by Gatie and a pass to Calliope Rose brought the ball to the 50-yard line yet again.
However, once the ball passed the 50, there was no stopping the Lady Grizzly power train. Madison Viviona made a powerful shot on goal, but a touch of good luck for the Falcons caused the goalie to block the ball in time.
At halftime, the girls rested enough to refuel their energy, but not long enough to lose their drive and motivation.
In the first two minutes of the second half, great teamwork seen from Gatie, Sierra Huskey and Rose brought the ball from the Lassen 25-yard line to the River Valley circle.
Lassen then earned three short corners between minutes three and six that caused River Valley anxiety levels to spike. After the third, Viviona scored the first goal of the game and caused cheers and smiles to erupt from the Grizzly girls.
After regaining possession after the goal, Lassen’s Smith, Rose and Viviona dribbled and passed in a braid-like pattern to gain 40 yards for the Grizzlies.
Another Lassen High short corner was called with less than 12 minutes remaining of the game, and Rose was sure to take advantage of the opportunity. Rose scored Lassen’s second goal of the game with an assist from Gatie with 11 minutes remaining on the clock.
Within the next two minutes, the ball found itself in the River Valley circle once again. After a pass from Huskey, Rose knocked the ball into the goal cage scored goal number three for the Grizzlies.
Lassen kept the intensity high for the remainder of the game. With seven minutes, six minutes and two and a half minutes remaining of the game, Lassen earned short corners.
River Valley pulled a fast one on the rejoicing Grizzlies and sprinted the ball down to Lassen’s circle in the final two minutes of the game. With 1:13 on the clock, the Falcons made their first and only goal of the game.
The 3-1 score left the Grizzlies beaming with pride.
Coach Barbara Somerville-Rausch commented, “Now that we’ve got a win, we’ve got all the nerves out of the way.”
With their first win recorded for the season, the junior varsity Grizzlies are clearly ready for more.
Somerville-Rausch said, “I’m just thrilled my girls did okay. They’re playing like a team now.”