The top-seeded Mt. Shasta Bears soccer team finished its march to the finals of the Fall Soccer Tournament with an 8-0 romp over Fall River on Thursday at Shastice Park. They’ll face No. 2 seed Tulelake at noon on Saturday at Shastice Park for the section championship after the Honkers had to go into 2 overtimes to beat Quincy.
In a team huddle just before Thursday’s game started a Mt. Shasta coach told his players, “The word of the day is smile.” The Bears played relaxed but intensely and scored 8 goals while allowing No. 4 seed Fall River only a few weak shots on goal.
Top-scorers Gavin Paisley and Alexis Ramirez each scored twice and Landon Turner once to pace the Bears. Paisley has 16 goals on the year, Ramirez 11, and Turner 9.
Ramirez put one by the Fall River goalkeeper 2:56 into the match. Ian Anderson scored on a penalty kick, and Ramirez scored again a minute later to give the Bears a quick 3-0 lead 13 minutes into the contest.
Paisley then scored his 2 goals, one a blast from 15 yards out into the left corner of the net.
Emma Carpenter scored her second goal of the year, Ross Winters kicked in his second goal of the playoffs, and Landon Turner scored with 5 seconds left in the game.
Bear goalie Vitaliy Tveritin earned his 11th consecutive shutout. A lot of credit must go to a stout Bears’ defense that allows fewer than 2 shots on goal per game.
Tveritin also helped the Bears with his booming clearing kicks that usually landed beyond the midline while Fall River’s goalie kicks were low and short.
When Mt. Shasta meets Tulelake on Saturday, they will be trying to avenge the only blemish on their unbeaten, unscored on record, a 1-1 tie with the Honkers in the season-opener.
The Bears take an 11-0-1 record into Saturday’s finale, while the Honkers are 15-0-1.
The Bears have outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 75-1 this season, while Tulelake has an 85-12 margin.
Quincy, the No. 3 seed, and Tulelake were both undefeated going into their semifinal, which the Honkers won 3-2.
Mt. Shasta is seeking its first Fall Soccer section title since winning back-to-back championships in 2013-2014.