Bears down Cougars to stay undefeated

Carson Ekman and Dave Sjostedt
Landon Turner of Mount Shasta splits Weed defenders Conner Ekman and Daniel Garcia to score his first of two goals Thursday. 
                                                                                            Photo by Dave Sjostedt

Mount Shasta High School’s soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to 19 with a 4-0 win over a stubborn Weed squad Thursday at Shastice Park in Mount Shasta.

Brice Harkness scored the only goal in the first half, his fifth of the year, as the Bears peppered Cougar goalkeeper JB Westfall with shots but could only put one by him.

Drew Hering scored eight minutes into the second half on a blast from just outside the box on the right side.

Weed had a few good chances, but Bear goalkeeper Corey Slabaugh turned the shots away, once with a sliding save, to get his third shutout of the year.  Mount Shasta used its superior speed on a number of breakaways where they caught up with a Bear mid-fielder’s pass by outrunning their Weed defender. 

Landon Turner flashed down the right wing twice to score his fourth and fifth goals of the season and put the game away. The first came two minutes after Hering’s score, giving the Bears a 3-0 lead.

They played on a soggy field with a wet ball that slowed play and prevented snappy passes, but the Bears had quick feet and good spacing that kept the ball in the Weed end of the pitch for much of the game.

The defeat was a tough one for the Cougars, as they have now failed to beat their rivals in two consecutive seasons. Mount Shasta improved to 6-0 for the year, while Weed fell to 9-5-2.

Things went a lot better for Weed to start last week, as they downed the Butte Valley Bulldogs on the road on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Angel Nicholas continued his hot goal scoring streak last Tuesday, netting four in the Cougars’ 11-6 win over the Bulldogs.

The scoring was opened early in the game, with Abigail Escobedo going through Butte Valley defenders, before smashing the ball into the net from just inside the 18 yard box.

Shortly after, Josiah Vogel found himself cutting inside and chipping the goalkeeper from distance to double the lead for the visitors. The game looked as though it might be a lost cause for the Bulldogs when Nicholas and Julio Garcia netted the Cougars’ third and fourth goals, but a drive from midfield saw Butte Valley get one back just before the break.

A second goal from Nicholas at the start of the second half would quickly be answered by a goal from the Bulldogs’

Trevor Allen, who headed the ball in off of a well placed corner kick. Two more goals from  Allen had the Cougars on the back foot, and it was only a matter of time before Butte Valley found their equalizer. With the game now level at 5-5.

Weed recuperated, rattling off a flurry of goals to put the game beyond doubt. Isabella Escobedo found the go-ahead goal for the Cougars, and Julio Garcia grabbed the seventh before laying down an assist for Angel Nicholas to complete his hat trick.

It looked liked things might get crazy again, when the Bulldogs scored their sixth of the evening, but two goals from Tommy Pineda and a fourth from Nicholas snuffed out any chances of another comeback from the home team.

Mount Shasta played at Fall River on Tuesday, Oct. 22, and finish the regular season at home against Trinity on Thursday.  Versus Fall River, the Bears won 5-1 to improve to 7-0 for the year,

Winning their last two games will almost certainly give the Bears home field throughout the playoffs that start on Oct. 29, since they’ve already defeated the second-ranked division 1 soccer team, Tukelake.

Weed ended the regular season Tuesday at home versus Tulelake, with the hope of solidifying its postseason standings.  The Cougars lost 5-1 to drop to 9-6-2 for the season.