Mount Shasta High School’s soccer team will face Core Butte in the Northern Section Fall Soccer playoff semi-finals this afternoon at home, starting at 3 p.m. at Shastice Park. The Bears soundly beat Paradise Adventist Academy 4-0 Tuesday on their home field.
The Paradise school is boys-only and has an exemption from the coed requirement that each team must have two girls on the field at all times. Teams competing with Paradise are allowed to play with an all-male squad.
Mount Shasta coach Brad Robinson chose to continue to play two girls and the team’s female contingent did the school proud in a win that saw a stiff Bear defense allow only two shots on goal.
Ajha Dennis-Florence was a big part of that defense, patrolling the right wing and frequently dribbling past her defender to start runs down her side of the field and getting deep into Paradise territory before feeding a Bear striker.
A goalie loves a good defense and Corey Slabaugh benefitted from it to get his fifth shutout of the year while having to make only one save. Paradise didn’t get a shot on goal until the waning minutes of the first half, and that was a free kick from 25 yards out that went high and wide.
The Bears have been getting off to slow starts lately, scoring more goals in the second half than the first, but they reversed that trend with three goals in the first half against Paradise.
Asher Aguirre knocked in his second goal of the year just three minutes into the game with a blast from the left side just outside the box to give Mount Shasta a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Nathaniel Bekaert scored twice in the half, with one score coming just seconds before the half ended, to give the Bears a comfortable 3-0 lead at the break.
Paradise’s goalie made some good saves in the second half as the Bears peppered him with 24 shots or the score would have been higher.
Landon Turner wrapped up the scoring with his seventh goal of the year five minutes into the second half.
Brice Harkness and Will Winters each had an assist for the Bears who faced number 4 seed CORE Butte from Chico at home on Thursday.