Stampede finish season on outside looking in
The Gold Country Stampede’s bid for the playoffs fell just short Sunday when they lost to the second-ranked Petaluma Wildcats.
With the loss, the Stampede moved to ninth place in the Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association and out of the top eight playoff spots.
The final game had all the elements of classic with beautiful weather and a 1 p.m. game time. Nevada Union allowed Gold Country to host the final game at Hooper Stadium in honor of the graduating seniors, Luke Agness, Zane Weinberger, J.T. Mortara, Rhys Lyckberg, Demetrious Holland, Morgan Hansen and Tony Richardson. Before the game, each senior presented his parents with a single rose, and the club presented each player with a framed action photo from the season. Nevada Union also honored former Stampede board member Avery Blake with a lifetime pass to NU athletic events for his service to Gold Country Lacrosse and the community.
With the start of the game, the Stampede came out strong and played the River Cats even in the first quarter. Stampede star attackman Agness scored once but, in an indication of how the day would go, missed four close-range shots and could be heard clearly from the stands yelling in frustration. Mortara added a goal in the first, and sophomore attackman Derek Adelman added another goal in the second, but Petaluma added three scores in the second and led at the half 6-3.
In the third quarter, the River Cats took a solid lead with six unanswered goals and put the game out of reach at 12-3. Petaluma had a clear advantage of having four more substitutes than the Stampede on the warm afternoon, but the Stampede offense was also out of synch with multiple missed shots on goal. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, coach Greg Porter told the team to leave it all on the field, and the Stampede answered. The defense held the River Cats to two final goals, and Agness added a final goal for the Stampede to close the game with a final score of 14-4.
“Petaluma is the second-ranked team in Northern California and probably all of California,” Porter told the team after the game. “You played them strong for three quarters and had them worried at the half. That is something to be proud of, and you proved you belonged with them.”
Although the complicated league ranking system had Gold Country ranked ninth, the Stampede beat sixth-ranked Woodcreek in a classic game in the rain at NU earlier this year. Coach Ed Mortara was disappointed his team did not make the playoffs but added, “We played five of the top eight teams strong and beat one of them. We had a great season.”
Gold Country Lacrosse will be hosting skill schools this summer for returning players and new boys and girls grades two through 12. Look for information of these and other opportunities at http://gcstampede.com.
JV: Wooodcreek 11,
Gold Country 7
The Stampede’s junior varsity team wrapped up the season with some outstanding play against the Woodcreek Timberwolves. Although out of playoff contention, the JV boys played with incredible heart and determination.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was tied 1-1 after a remarkable shot by Philip Holland. The teams were well matched and aggressive on both ends of the field. At the half, the score was Stampede two, Timberwolves three after a score by attackman Mason Picard.
The third quarter saw a lot of scoring. Holland scored twice more, and long-stick midfielder Jackson Sanders added another. Woodcreek added a few of their own, and the score at the end of the third was Stampede five, Timberwolves six. It was proving to be a close game with lots of emotion, energy and action.
The final quarter proved too much for the Stampede as the Timberwolves racked up five more goals while the Stampede were only able to add two by Picard and Holland.
It was an incredibly well-played game by both teams. The Stampede came out strong, but the Timberwolves’ goalie was hard to overcome. The Stampede made an amazing and record-breaking 25 shot attempts. It proved to be one of their best games. They ended their season strong and proud and can walk with their heads held high until lacrosse starts again next January.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Last Sunday was a smokey day in the Sierra. Heading for the east slope, the worst of the smoke was in the top few miles on the west side of Donner Pass. Colin and I…