While a day playing field hockey is a dream come true for many young ladies at Lassen High School, the dream truly came alive for the junior varsity Grizzlies when they challenged the Bella Vista Broncos to a home game Wednesday, Oct. 4. Not only did the Lady Grizzlies play a full game against the Broncos, but after finishing with a 1-1 tie in the books, Lassen challenged the visiting Broncos to double overtime.
Ultimately, it was the Lady Grizzlies who found themselves celebrating the 3-2 win while the Broncos modeled a few grimaces and furrowed brows.
The Broncos originally made quite a statement on the Lassen field with their goal in the first half. Though the Grizzlies fended off the Broncos fairly well, neither the line of Grizzly defense nor the Lassen goalie, Sam Magarrell, could prevent the ball from bouncing off the goalie pads into the goal cage after 11 minutes of intense play on the field.
Once on the board, the Broncos were hungry for more. However, the Lady Grizzlies vowed to keep their goal clear for the remainder of the game, and they stayed true to their promise.
Lassen’s overall tenacity never wavered as the clock continued, but by the call of halftime, the score was still in Bella Vista’s favor 1-0.
After the halftime break, the Broncos reentered the field with a shade of confidence that wasn’t all too flattering.
The Broncos’ previous goal had allowed the visiting girls to take a breath during the break, but such a luxury came at a cost; the Bella Vista girls were more sluggish during the second half than they were in the first. Though the Bella Vista girls believed Lassen to be just as drained from the first half as they were, they clearly didn’t understand Lassen’s desperate need to score.
The second half consisted of a lot of back-and-forth action on the field. While the ball found itself on Grizzly territory at times, Lassen’s defensive players kept it away from the Grizzly goal. The Bronco offense may have started off strong, but they were nothing compared to a few fired-up Grizzlies.
As the Broncos grew increasingly lethargic, the Grizzlies refused to back off. Lassen’s offense drove the ball into the Bronco circle multiple times, but the ball didn’t find its way into the Bella Vista goal cage until the girls had entered the final four minutes of game play. With 3:40 remaining of the game, Madison Vivona shot the ball into the goal and tied the game.
With a 1-1 tie on the board, fans could tell the Broncos were already defeated. The Bella Vista coach tried to inspire the visiting girls by saying “If you don’t want overtime, score again. You have time.” But the shrugged shoulders of the Broncos reaffirmed fan suspicion that the game was over.
After the game was called, the girls entered the first round of overtime with seven players on each side of the field, including the goalie.
While the Lassen ladies worked hard and were able to keep the ball on Bella Vista territory a majority of the time, they were not able to score a goal. By the end of the first five-minute round of overtime, the score had yet to change.
The second round of overtime was five-on-one with each team having five individual players try to make a goal with only the opposing team’s goalie defending the cage. Teams rotated turns with the Magarrell taking on a Bella Vista Bronco first.Magarrell successfully blocked and cleared the first, second, fourth and fifth Bronco attempts. The only one to score for Bella Vista was the third shooter.
As for the offensive Grizzlies taking on the Bronco goalie, Caylee Slama was up first, Grace Memmott second, Calliope Rose third and Vivona fourth.
Slama scored after the Bella Vista goalie kicked the ball away but failed to clear the circle; Slama was quick on the draw and drove in the ball before time was up. Memmott had a strong drive, but the ball missed the goal. Rose entered the circle with some oomph, but her aggressive passion didn’t get the ball to the goal before the Bronco goalie kicked it out of bounds. Because of the out-of-bounds kick, Rose was given a second chance, but again the aggression didn’t quite make it in.
After one Grizzly goal and one Bella Vista goal, Vivona was ready to finish the game. A quick entrance into the circle and a sweep past the goalie resulted in a nice pass into the net. After the final Bella Vista shooter failed, the game was officially called with a score of 3-2 in the books.