Bears on top of SCL soccer standings

Ron Borges
With bodies flying every which way, Andrew McLane makes one of his saves during last week’s shut out against Weed.

The Mount Shasta soccer team finds themselves alone on top the SCL after avenging their only loss of the season to the Weed Cougars on Thursday at Shastice Park.

“This was an SCL championship quality game,” said Mount Shasta coach Rob Davies. “There was a lot of pride on the line for both teams.”

“Mount Shasta played a good game,” said Weed coach Mike Gilmore. “I’m proud of the kids.”

Weed was close to scoring early when Omar Fernandez’s corner kick looked like it was going to go in, but curved out at the last moment.

The Bears were first to get on the board after David Castaneda passed the ball to John Holst in the 12th minute. They tried to follow it up minutes later but Ruben Ducoing and Jose Luquin denied the score by clearing the ball.

Mount Shasta did what they have done all year long, keeping the opponents out of their side of the field. Alastair Curley and Erik Thelander played solid defense for Mount Shasta. 

Solid defense by the Bears  didn’t mean Weed was denied chances to score early in the first half. Zach Schneider, Usmaro Sanchez and Fernandez had shots but couldn’t get the score.

In the 31st minute, Andrew Campbell passed the ball to Allison Titus. Roberto Sanchez came out too far, allowing Titus to kick the ball right passed him for the score.

Weed had three shots before the half, including two corner kicks. Avila had two shots but McLane stopped one and the Bear’s defense cleared the ball before it narrowly went in. 

“We didn’t control the ball well or pass that great,” Gilmore said after the game.

The half ended with Mount Shasta up 2-0.

The surprising aspect was the play of the Weed defense. According to Gilmore, they stood around and watched the Bears drive right by them.

The second half was a defensive battle between both teams. Neither team could really get close to the goal till about 20 minutes in the second half.

Roberto Sanchez had nine saves. The 12 shots on goal was the lowest my Mount Shasta this year.

Weed was forced to play hard defense and Mount Shasta, having the lead, sat back to defend the game.

“I’m happy for our defense, they played a great game,” Davies said. “Emma Reynolds, Thelander, Wooten and Campbell all played their hearts out.”

Sam Wooten scored the last goal of the game when he received the ball from Nikki Roda in the 65th minute. The kicked sailed just past the outstretched fingers of Sanchez. 

Roda did had a goal but the whistle had blown before the shot was taken because she was offsides.

The frustration for Weed began to set in late in the game.  Fernandez received a yellow card and asked to leave the field until the next dead ball.

“I think this loss was a good reality check for us, Gilmore said. “This loss should help us understand the importance of playing as a team and the consequences of not.”

Mount Shasta travels to Fall River on Tuesday and plays at home against Modoc two days later.