Weed soccer opens year with win vs. Butte Valley

Carson Ekman

The Weed High School soccer team beat the Butte Valley Bulldogs 6-1 last Wednesday in what was a game full of positive signs for new coaches Jack and Jake Leifer.

The Cougars put on a show for those in attendance at home for the season opener, dominating possession for much of the game. This attack-heavy strategy saw Angel Nicholas break past the Butte Valley defensive line and open scoring in the first 15 minutes, before chipping the goalkeeper moments later to make it 2-0.

Abigail Escobedo continued the scoring, netting goals three and four for the Cougars, with an impressive corner kick that was curled directly into the goal, followed by a breakaway off the left flank that saw the talented freshman smash the ball past the goalkeeper.

The Cougars started the second half with the same energy, as Ian Russ slalomed through the Bulldogs’ defense before calmly shooting and making it five for WHS. The celebrations were short lived, however, as Butte Valley’s Trevor Allen scored a consolation goal shortly after.

Around the 60th minute, Jessiah Vogel ran in behind the opposition and scored the Cougars’ final goal of the day.

Weed High School kept Butte Valley on their back foot to see out the game, with ambitious deep shots from Ian Russ and Daniel Pineda proving that a higher score line was not too far out of reach.

The Cougars’ back line provided just as much promise as their attack, with composed performances from sophomores Daniel Pineda and Ryan Mitchell and Freshman Jonah Jackson making this defense look like one that could blossom into something special.

With newly established sophomore goalkeeper Jon Byron Westfall providing a number of key saves throughout the match, the Cougars seem to have a commanding presence in the shape of their young goalkeeper.

This could very well turn out to be a wonderful season for the Cougars soccer team, especially if performances such as these turn out to be the norm. With a young team, the Leifers will surely rely on a consistent level of play from returning players Daniel Pineda, Isabella Escobedo, Connor Ekman, and stand out performer Angel Nicholas.

WHS’s soccer team now looks toward the Mount Shasta Invitational tournament on Saturday, Sept. 7, where they will look to make the most of an opportunity for a trophy.