Petaluma halts Stampede’s playoff run, JV advances to semifinals |

Petaluma halts Stampede’s playoff run, JV advances to semifinals

Submitted to The Union

For the Gold Country Stampede's varsity team, their championship run came to an end Saturday with a loss to Petaluma. However, the junior varsity's championship drive is very much alive with a strong win over Rancho Cotati.

The varsity's game with Petaluma was a rematch of a regular season game in which the Stampede also lost.

On a grass field at Petaluma High School, the final outcome of Sunday's game was even more lopsided, with the game finishing 17-4 in Petaluma's favor.

Petaluma is ranked No. 2 in California and will be going CIF at Petaluma High School next year. For the game, junior midfielder Jason Slattery led all Stampede scorers with two goals. Peter McDowell and Drew heaps each added a goal.

With Stampede stars Colby Glass and Joe Matteoni out with injuries, and after losing Nikolai Breiter in the first Petaluma game, Gold Country was no match for the elite Petaluma team attack.

For the season, there was no question junior attackman Derek Adelman was the team leader, with 42 goals and 22 assists. McDowell was second with 18 goals and 14 assists. Attackman Drew Heaps was third with 17 goals and seven assists for the year. Ryan Owen had a 51 percent win ratio on face-offs, winning 19 of 37 opportunities. McDowell had a winning percentage of 47 percent, winning 42 of 89 opportunities.

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After the game, Stampede coach Ed Mortara told the boys that even though the playoff drive ended early, it was a very successful season, with the team finishing 9-7 and a final NCJLA ranking of No. 5 place.

Seniors Owen and Amani Senegal both gave short speeches thanking their teammates for the season and their support through their club careers.

In recognition of the passing last fall of one of the Stampede's founders, Avery Blake, the team ended the season with a final cheer of "AVERY!"

JV: Gold Country 16, Rancho Cotati 5

An entire season of exhilarating lacrosse preceded the JV Stampede's 16-5 home victory over Rancho Cotati in the first round of the playoffs Saturday.

Rancho Cotati, a team with only four subs on the side, was small but mighty. They looked smooth in the beginning of the game demonstrating their seamless Cornell 200 pass around the goal but they had a difficult time assessing the Stampede's defense and determining when to make an attack.

The first score of the game was made by Gold Country's Philip Holland, then Mason Picard captured a wild ground ball and added a point.

Rancho got the ball back to their end and were able to get a shot in to cut the Stampede's lead in half.

To this, Stampede's Owen Warner responded with a score after seizing a ground ball from a moment of mayhem and taking a shot.

Next, Jimmy Vaughn got the ball from Rancho's defense on a pick and passed it to Holland who shot and scored. Holland would quickly score another to increase the Stampede lead.

As the game progressed, Toran Maronic's distinctive momentum-gaining, cut-to-the-crease torpedo style shots were seen as he made three goals.

Joining Holland and Maronic with hat tricks was first year player Asher Fong whose first shot came after a clear by Connor Hollister and a rapid weave through Rancho's defense put him in position for a successful goal.

Additional game goals were made by Vaughn and Picard for a team total of 16. Though Rancho continued to fight fearlessly it was evident that the Stampede's defense, with their well executed blocks combined with goalie Noah Mertens' 13 game saves, was wearing them out.

After halftime, when Rancho did not rally as expected. Coach Donn Demostene said he took the opportunity to play the entire team by leaving their first through third line middies on the sidelines along with some starting defense and attack players and giving their less experienced players a chance to take the field.

Matt Featherston and Kurt Koerber were each noted on the stat sheet for their shot attempts while Steven Duhamel, who had never attempted a face-off before, was noted for winning two draws. Rancho continued to give all they had to the game and fought hard to squeeze out three more goals for a final score of 16-5.

The win pits the Stampede against Elk Grove in the semi-finals Friday night at NU.

"I was very impressed in the overall performance of our JV team," Assistant coach J.T. Mortara said. "We executed our game plan from the very beginning. We attacked the goal early and often and our defense made some great plays. We came out with high intensity and displayed some disciplined lacrosse. Great day for our club and we're very excited. We're not done yet, though. This team has their eye on the Championship."

U13: Chico 7, Gold Country 2

The Gold Country Stampede U13 lacrosse team traveled Sunday to take on the undefeated Chico Rebels.

The atmosphere had the tension of a playoff game and lived up to the billing.

Gold Country came to the matchup with a 12-1 record and came off a 12 point shut out Saturday, overpowering a Stockton squad the day before.

This game would be a challenge of a different dimension. Chico fielded a physically large roster. Two good teams, two good records, on a beautifully maintained, golf-course short natural-grass field.

The opening faceoff was surprisingly won by Gold Country and the intensity from both teams ignited like wild fire. Loose ground balls became fierce battles. Chico drew first blood with a close in shot. Shortly after Mason Zimmerman got his stick on a Chico pass, his brother Millen intercepted the deflection in front of the Chico goal and put the shot in to tie the match.

Chico's man-on-man defense seemed more aggressive and challenging than the Stampede has faced all year and it seemed to energize the team to match the level of play.

Self-sacrificing body checks against the larger Chico players slowed long field charges but Chico roared back and scored two more goals against an inspired Gold Country defense that confronted each pass and swarmed each shot attempt.

Gold Country upped their efforts and Tanner Takahashi fed a flashing Tre Maronic for an exciting shot that had Gold Country sidelines standing.

The half ended with Chico on top with a slim lead. Chico launched the second half with several offensive attacks. Stampede goalie, Reid Young, was exemplary making 11 saves during the game. Chico eventually added three additional goals to maintain their undefeated season ending the game 7-2.

In spite of the loss, an elated coach Hansen stated he was "so proud to see the team step up and work so hard; they challenged every shot".

Coach Siebles said, "it was great to see the effort, the boys really brought it today".

Gold Country Stampede have one more match this season at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Colfax High School. They also have an invitational tournament at Treasure Island May 18.

U11: Gold Country 11, Fair Oaks 2

The Stampede U-11 squad pushed their winning streak to eight games with a dominating win over the Fair Oaks Colts 11-2 on Saturday morning at Hooper Stadium.

The Stampede erupted for six first quarter goals to open the game.

Tyler Dzioba had a pair of goals, with solo shots added by Logan Lapkass, Colton Coughran, Nolan Kennedy and Amanda Beall.

They extended the lead to 8-0 at the half as Tanner Swartz and Lapkass added secondquarter scores. Wyatt Flansburg dominated in the net, shutting out the Colts with four saves before giving up the net to Luke Peevey in the second half.

Peevey, aka "Big Purple," kept the Stampede lead in the second half, notching five saves while giving up two goals.

The Stampede continued the score fest in the second half, with Swartz, Connor Trujillo and Flynn Baer all adding monster shots to take the score to 11-2.

Robert Maple almost made it an even dozen, with a shot missing the net by inches.

The Stampede defense continued to dominate, with Sam Walker and Jacob McCrea helping to preserve the first half shut out.

Shawn Rashby, Gerick Meyers, Jake Lawson and Reece Bacon all contributed solid defense, harassing the Colts offensive players all game.

The Stampede U-11 now head down to Pleasant Grove next weekend to close out the season with a double header.

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