Gold Country Stampede’s Varsity squad kicked off the 2015 lacrosse season last weekend with three league games at the Redding Lacrosse Jamboree. Following a playoff season by last year’s varsity and a Northern California championship by the JV squad, expectations are high for a very successful season again this year. Gold County has rarely had large teams and this year’s 17-man Varsity squad is no exception, but Stampede teams have gained a reputation around the league as tough and capable lacrosse players. Head Coach Greg Porter told his team that this weekend was their opportunity to open the season with a statement. With convincing wins over Elk Grove and Pleasant Grove, and a close loss to Chico, this year’s Varsity team gave notice that they will contend for the title again this year.
Stampede opened Saturday with an 18-6 win over Elk Grove, followed by a 19-4 win over Pleasant Grove. Senior Captain Derek Adelman led the first game’s scoring with 6 goals, and other scoring was shared by Mason Picard, Drew Heaps, Peter McDowell, Joe Matteoni and Sam LaHaie. Junior Captain McDowell took control of the game by dominating his faceoff opportunities, winning 14 of 18 tries. Goal keeper Dylan Hopkins had 8 saves to keep Elk Grove out of the game, aided by strong defense from Senior Captain Danny Heaps and Defender Jimmy Vaughn. In the second game, Adelman had 7 goals, while McDowell, Heaps, Alex Abreu, Matteoni, Noah Mertens, and Dannon Ivey rounded out the scoring. McDowell improved his faceoff totals by winning an additional 17 opportunities, and Hopkins had 4 saves.
In the third game on Sunday, the Varsity lost a close match to its primary division and league rival, the Chico Rebels, by a final score of 13-10. Last year’s Varsity squad lost to Chico, while the JV squad beat Chico twice, both in sudden death overtime, so both teams anticipated a close match. Gold Country scored in the first 10 seconds with McDowell winning the faceoff and feeding the ball to Heaps for the quick goal. Chico dominated the rest of the first half, however, leading 7-3 at the end of the second quarter. In the second half, McDowell continued his faceoff control, ending the game with 16 wins. This control contributed to Stampede outscoring Chico 7-6 in the second half, although a late scoring surge was not enough to overcome the first half deficit. Adelman, Heap and Abreu each had 2 goals, while McDowell, Matteoni, Ivey and Picard had one each.
Great teamwork was seen in the first game of our season as SEVEN players scored goals. Tre (1), Canyon (1), Dylan (2), Rielly (1), Asher (5), Toran (5) and Austin (6). In the fourth quarter the coaches challenged the boys to try out new positions so long poles and short sticks were traded and the boys got to experience the game from different positions.
The second game was memorably windy from the audience's perspective. The stat sheet shows that Kennen made 15 saves during the Chico game. Chico took a lot of shots on goal but Kennen and the D-poles were protecting their goal valiantly. We took a lot of shots on Chico too. 28 plus the 7 that went in. A very competitive game to get the players and families excited for our BBQ dinner that night back at the hotel.
Final game of Redding was against Pleasant Grove Blue with a final score of 20 - 3. I believe Canyon got the game ball...... We should get him an orange ball because he was flying around in those orange shoes of his..... Makes him easy to spot. Others players to score against Pleasant Grove were Toran, Austin, Asher, Dylan and Matt.
The Gold Country U15 team launched their season this weekend at the Redding Lacrosse Jamboree which brings together teams from Northern California to the state-of-the-art Redding Soccer Park and Sports facility. Three games were played over 2 days of competition giving the teams a chance to put into play all they have been practicing and working toward.
Game one against Elk Grove was a nail biter beginning with a quick score by the Stampede. Tanner Takahashi scored from a nice give and go from Mason Zimmerman. Elk Grove then scored a couple of goals and took the lead. Gold Country rallied back and with 2 minutes left in the game pulled ahead by 2 goals. Elk Grove tied the game with less than a minute to go resulting in sudden death overtime. Gold Country had the first opportunity to score and the goalie saved the shot with his foot. Elk Grove made a long pass from half field to an open man which gave them a one on one shot and they ended the game with the winning score.
Game two was played against a talented team, South Valley. Coach Takahashi explained that , “we fought hard, but just couldn't match their skill”. South Valley defeated Gold Country 7 to 1.
Game 3 was a match against Rancho Cotati. Gold Country dominated this game start to finish and ended with a victory 11-1. There was good ball movement and strong teamwork and it showed on the scoreboard. Goals were scored by numerous players.
Coach Takahashi stated, ”the boys learned a lot, and some of our brand new players got their first taste of what a real game feels like. By the 3rd game, the hard work we've been putting in at practice started to show. Despite the 1 and 2 record this weekend, I'm pleased by our progress and the effort the boys put in. Bouncing back from a close sudden death loss in our first game and facing a tough team in South Valley, our boys came out and played strong to finish the weekend. That says a lot, we didn't let the losses dictate our play today”.
The Gold Country Stampede U-13 Lacrosse team took to the field this weekend in tournament play in Redding. They emerged victorious in all three games, starting the young season with a bang. Against the Elk Grove Gladiators in game one, the U-13 Team came away with a 6-5 win, led by Colton Coughran’s three goals. Cody Ray added to the mix with a solo shot, and Matt Hansen added a pair of goals to close out the scoring, including the final goal to put the Stampede on top to win it. Wyatt Flansburg shined in the net, notching a whopping 10 saves. The story for the Stampede may well be their stout defense, led by Tyler Dzioba, Cameron Pratt, and Sam Walker. They punished any and all intruders who neared the goal, clearly setting the tone of the game early. In game two the Stampede notched another win, 9-5 against the Chico Red Rebels. Coughran led all scorers with another 3 goals, Matt Hansen adding a pair. The Stampede players spread the scoring around, with Cody Ray, Logan Lapkass, Tyler Dzioba and Connor Trujillo all adding solo shots. The Stampede middies dominated the field, with Erik LaCoss, Jeremy Rodrigues and Shawn Rashby running the Rebels ragged all day. The Stampede closed out the tourney with win number 3 on Sunday morning, blanking the Redding Redhawks 10-0. Flansburg tended the net in the shutout, with Matt Hansen erupting for 5 massive goals. Logan Lapkass, Cody Ray and Shawn Rashby all added goals, and Tyler Dzioba added a pair, including one coast-to-coast goal from his defensive position. The Stampede take their perfect season to Del Oro next weekend, against a mighty Sierra Foothills squad.
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