The Gold Country Stampede hosted their annual Roundup Saturday at Hooper Stadium with four thrilling games against division opponents.
The varsity team capped Saturday’s action with a convincing win over Rio City, 15-2.
Then, on Sunday, the Gold Country teams traveled to Chico for additional games in a demanding weekend of lacrosse.
With a loss against division rival Chico and a win against the Napa Force, the varsity squad remains in second place in the division and in contention for a playoff spot.
In the Rio City game, seven players shared the scoring with senior attackman J.T. Mortara leading the pack with five goals.
Goalkeeper Nicholai Breiter had seven saves, although the Rio City team had trouble getting any shots on goal due to the Stampede’s strong defense. At the end of the game, Breiter took a save and sprinted the length of the field and drove for a rare shot by a goalie. Unfortunately, the shot was saved and his goal of scoring this year will have to wait.
On Sunday, the Stampede took on the Chico Rebels in a game for the division lead. The Stampede started the game strong with three first-quarter goals by senior attackman Luke Agness and trailed by one at the end of the quarter, 4-3.
In the second quarter, Chico showed why it leads the division as it scored five unanswered goals. As in the game at Hooper Stadium earlier this year, the Stampede came back strong and outscored Chico in the second half 9-8 with Agness leading the scoring with five second-half goals. But it was not enough to recover from the second-quarter deficit, and the Rebels ended up winning 17-12.
In the final game of the weekend, Gold Country took on the visiting Napa Force. In a very physical game and a rare second game in one day, the Stampede handled the Force fairly easily, 11-6.
Agness and Mortara led scoring with four and three goals respectively.
The Stampede are back at it Saturday when they take on the Yuba City Chiatku and then Sunday when they face the Red Bluff Rebels.
JV: Folsom 16, Gold Country 7
The Stampede’s junior varsity boys took the field Saturday to face a team they struggled with earlier in the season.
But the Folsom United met a different team this week than the one they were familiar with.
Guided by a new coaching tandem of Donn Demostene and college player Matt Mantovan, this team came out energized, enthusiastic and determined.
Just minutes into the first quarter of play, midline player Owen Warner galvanized his Stampede team by scoring the first goal of the game. Despite some excellent defense, the fierce Folsom team answered with five goals.
The second quarter saw both teams add four goals. Stampede attackman Canyon Drake contributed two, and fellow attackmen Mason Picard and Philip Holland each added one of his own. The score at the half was Stampede 5, United 9.
The energy at the half was palpable. This “reborn” Stampede team was rallying, demonstrating some impressive stick skills, working together and truly enjoying the game of lacrosse.
Throughout the third quarter, the Stampede continued to pick up ground balls and the level of competitiveness and aggressiveness accelerated.
Drake added another two goals with assists by Picard and Jimmy Vaughn. Unfortunately, those would be the last points for Stampede who began to lose steam in the last quarter of play.
Folsom kept the pressure coming and came out victorious. Despite the loss, the Stampede demonstrated tremendous heart and growth.
New Stampede goalie Ryan Herbert, was impressive with 14 saves. Banner Drake and Emerson Helmuth fought well at the draw, winning nine out of the 14 faceoffs. With four weeks left in the season, this team is looking to wrap up its year with the fire and spirit that are the hallmarks of lacrosse.
U13: Gold Country 9, Fair Oaks 1
The Stampede’s game against Fair Oaks Saturday was packed with excitement for the Gold Country squad as the weather and the team took some surprising turns.
The game started off rainy and cold with an early goal scored by Cullen O’Connor to get the Stampede offense going.
O’Connor has been one of the team’s leading scorers this season. One minor injury was sustained, but overall the game was a fun one that ended in an eight-goal victory for the home team.
The afternoon game was played under sunny skies with four Stampede goals in the first half of the game and three in the second. But Fair Oaks would get a bit of revenge, winning 9-7 in the day’s second U13 game.
O’Connor and Chandler Brown each scored two goals for Gold Country and Carsten Siebels, Millen Zimmerman and Tanner Takahashi each tallied one goal each.
Owen Helmuth was strong tending goal with seven saves.
More goals were shot than ever before by the U13 team during this game. The excitement in the stands was palpable as the boys gathered both strength and confidence in some solid teamwork, moving as a unit and sticking with the ball.
Coaches may submit game reports by email at email@example.com or by phone at 530-477-4232. deadline for submission is 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 p.m. Sunday.