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NU scoots and shoots to win

Eileen JoyceNevada Union senior Jessi Wilcox fights for control of the ball before passing it to teammate Sara Langley, who scored the fourth goal in the Miners' 9-0 victory.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Two weeks ago in a girls soccer match against Casa Roble, Nevada Union coach Mike Voss was reminded of a former player he coached in Danville.

And a nickname was quickly passed down.



“She wasn’t fast, but she could just scoot between players and where she needed to be,” Voss said of his former player. “Courtney (Paquin) reminds me of Scooter.”




Wednesday, NU’s Scooter displayed the skills described by Voss, along with an ability to finish. Paquin, a freshman, had two first-half goals to propel the Lady Miners to a 9-0 victory over Capital Athletic League foe Grant at Sierra College.

NU junior Tracy Smith had two goals and an assist, while Celeste Martini and Nicole Flores each had a goal and an assist. Jenn Smyrnos had two first-half goals, as part of the Lady Miners’ barrage.

“I think as a team, we did really good,” said Paquin. “But considering who we were playing, I think we were expected to do as good.”

NU (3-4-1 overall, 1-3-1 CAL) dominated all aspects of Wednesday’s match with a Grant team that had just enough players to field a complete team.

Voss was especially pleased with his team’s centering passes, exemplified when senior Jessi Wilcox chased down a ball and whipped it to freshman Sara Langley in front of the net. Langley finished the pass for the fourth and final goal of the first half.

“The service of the ball, up and over the defense, was good,” Voss said. “Langley made a good shot on a cross from Wilcox. Flores, (Katie) Farley, Smith and (Chrystal Conklin) today did a better job than what has been done in the past, and that is important for our team.”

Paquin, one of the smaller players on the field, played huge in the first half.

She scored the first goal of the match two minutes in off a feed from Smyrnos. After a Smith goal off another Smyrnos set up, Paquin plucked a ball from a pack of players and snuck it low past Grant’s goalkeeper 30 minutes into the match.

“I kind of stole the ball from Tracy (Smith), because it didn’t look like she had a good angle on it,” Paquin said. “(After the goal) Tracy just laughed about it.”

There was a great deal to laugh and smile about Wednesday. NU did not give up a shot on its goal the entire afternoon, making the work of goalkeepers Jamie Pau and Carrie Conklin virtually no work at all.

Instead, NU’s attack kept the ball in Grant’s half of the field for nearly the entire game, making goal scoring not so much a question of if, but when.

“You can practice all you want, but a good practice still won’t be as good as competing against any team,” Voss said. “When you play, success or failure is easier to see, right there in front of you.”

The second half gave Voss a chance to experiment with different player combinations. Mackenzie Murphy opened the second-half scoring with an unassisted goal.

Martini then scored off a pass from Flores, with Flores following Martini’s goal with a score of her own off a Pau assist to put the Lady Miners up, 7-0. Grant had an one goal, and Smith finished the scoring on a long feed from Martini to close out the Lady Miners’ CAL win.


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