“We're kind of young, but the guys are ready to grow up quick,” said Mount Shasta Bears head soccer coach Brad Robinson.
Mount Shasta Bears soccer coach Brad Robinson has a hard season to follow. All the 2018 squad did was outscore its opponents 76-1, win 12 straight games by shutout after starting the season with a 1-1 tie at Tule Lake, and win the Northern Section’s Fall Soccer Tournament while not allowing a goal in three games.
He loses to graduation Gavin Paisley, second leading SCL scorer with 18 goals and Chanel Berg, who led SCL girls with 5 goals. And Alexis Ramirez, with 11 goals last year, wants to concentrate on cross-country where he is one of the leading runners in the North State.
But Robinson can also see the glass as more than half full. Junior Landon Turner scored nine goals last year and had three assists. Asher Aguirre, Drew Hering, and Ross Winters each knocked in four goals last year.
The Bears have good experience on the female side with returnees Emma Carpenter, two goals last year, and Ajha Dennis-Florence who scored once. Ajha ran the 100 meters for Mount Shasta’s track team in the spring; her speed will be an asset. Ireland Cross saw some playing time last year.
Robinson also likes his new goalkeeper Corey Slabaugh. He played behind shutout artist Vitaly Tveritin, getting into five games without allowing a goal.
“He’s ready to jump into the box and be the keeper,” Robinson said.
The team returns 13 players who scored last year. Last year’s goal scorers other than those already mentioned: Brice Harkness, three goals, Ian Anderson, Holden Van Laeken, Rowan Theno, Kekai Ferguson, all with two goals, and Will Winters and Casey Day who scored once.
This year’s newcomers include Elyssa Harrison, Chloe Sneed, Nathaniel Bekaert, Hunter Snure, Andrew Wilderman, and Caleb Hansen.
“We’re kind of young, but the guys are ready to grow up quick,” said Robinson. He sees Fall River as a leading contender for the SCL crown this year, but adds that “Trinity gives us fits”. The Bears had two 1-0 wins over Trinity last year.
Mount Shasta begins the regular season on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at Modoc and has its first home match on September 19 against Tulelake with whom the Bears shared the SCL title in 2018.