YOUTH LACROSSE: Stampede storms past Gladiators, Eagles | TheUnion.com

YOUTH LACROSSE: Stampede storms past Gladiators, Eagles

As the postseason nears, the Gold Country Stampede varsity lacrosse team is charging hard and trampling all those that stand in its way.

The Stampede rolled to a pair of lopsided victories over the weekend, improving to 13-1 overall and holding on to their Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association No. 1 ranking.

After clobbering the Elk Grove Galdiators, 19-4, last Friday, the Stampede pounded the Pleasant Grove Eagles, 18-11, at Hooper Stadium in their final home bout of the regular season Sunday.

Despite falling behind, 6-2, after one quarter, the Stampede roared back led by a pair of seniors in Drew Heaps and Toran Maronic.

Heaps, now in his fifth season with the Gold Country varsity team, scored a team best seven goals and doled out three assists.

"He's fearless," Stampede head coach Greg Porter said. "We were down and who digs us out? Drew. How many times has that happened in the last five years? I don't have enough fingers and toes."

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Maronic added three goals and notched a team-high five assists in the win.

"We just started playing ball," Maronic said. "Playing cohesively, running our plays and getting out in transition. We just played better overall."

Maronic, who returned this season after sitting out last season due to a traumatic brain injury, said he was happy to get a win in the final home game of his Stampede career.

"I just wanted to play well and get a win for the team and the rest of the seniors," he said.

Behind goals from Heaps, Maronic, Tre Maronic, Will Smith and Dylan Scott, the Stampede outscored Pleasant Grove 8-0 in the second quarter to hold a four-point halftime edge. They kept pouring it on in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 8-5 down the stretch.

Owning the faceoffs was the Stampede's Tanner Takahashi, who won 24 of 29 faceoffs. He also scored a goal in the victory.

Gold Country's goalie duo was solid with Peyton McGovern and Ben Beeman notching three saves each. Danny Gratten and Carsten Siebels were also strong for the Stampede on the defensive side of the field.

In Friday's win over Elk Grove, the Stampede was also paced by Toran Maronic and Heaps. Maronic netted six goals and Heaps had five. Tre Maronic added four goals and Smith chipped in two goals in that victory.

The Stampede have the upcoming weekend off before closing the regular season with a pair of road games at Yuba City May 4 and Oakland Tech May 6.

JV STAMPEDE TOPS EAGLES, VIPERS

​​The Gold Country Stampede junior varsity team competed in a rare double-billing Saturday, defeating the Sierra Foothill Eagles 13-4, then pulling out a win in the second game by a score of 14-11 over the San Jose Vipers.

The Sierra Foothills team was fast, but the Stampede defense proved very tough, allowing only four goals in the game. The offense showed how well rounded they are, with 14 goals from eight different players. A notable offensive effort was made by Mason Zimmerman, who scored three goals and was fearless in front of the goal.

"The undefeated San Jose Vipers were much improved over last year and started strong against us," said head coach Chuck Ross. "One of their team members scored several goals by wrapping across the top and shooting on the run. The tide turned when we assigned defender/long stick middie Cody Ray to shadow him. Cody effectively shut down not only that player, but anyone else coming across the top. The Vipers made several late goals to give us a scare, but we held on to hand them their first loss."

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com. Ron Slay contributed to this report.