Lassen High School's girls' soccer team closer to championship
The Grizzlies pounded Pierce 5-0 at home in their first round game last Thursday, sending them into the semifinals where they will host Winters at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Susanville's Riverside Park.
Lassen put the game away early, netting three first-half goals. Courtney Oates, Keli Sloan scored unassisted goals and Nicole Harris added a penalty kick.
In the second half, LeAnn McCracken scored on an assist from Harris and fed Carisa Ridgeway for another goal.
"It wasn't much of a game. We ended up playing everybody and resting some of the girls with injuries," Lassen head coach Steve Datema said. "The next game is going to be different. I've heard Winters is pretty good."
Winters comes into the game on a roll after winning the Butte View League.
"We are going to have to play our 'A-game.' They could be above us talent wise, but when you get this far it all comes down to who has the bigger heart," he said.
The Lassen boys' season and quest for a fifth straight section crown came to an end at Colusa, losing 2-1.
Dillon Moore gave the Grizzlies an early lead, but Colusa tied the score just before halftime and punched in the winning goal late in the game.
"That's not the way to finish the season, but you've got to give it to Colusa, they really poured it on us in the second half," Lassen head coach Matti Ripatti said.
Ripatti, who has not decided if he will return next season, especially praised the play of Mike Nielson, Kevin Lyman, Daniel Nareau, Aurelio Sanchez and Moore this season.
Moore, a senior, is looking to land a college scholarship as he led the team with 19 goals.
"I'm very pleased with the team. Compared to where we started the year out, they faired much better than I had expected," Ripatti said. "The boys were getting better as the season was going along. If we would have had the hunger to win the entire season, then we might still be playing."
Lassen finished third in the Westside League with a 7-3 record. The Grizzlies entered this season as four-time defending league and section champions. Ripatti is picking Winters to win the title.