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Granite Bay remains perfect in SFL soccer

Grizzlies overwhelm Nevada Union
By: Kurt Johnson
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From the moment that sophomore striker Connor Hallisey powered home the first goal just three minutes into the contest, the route was on as the Granite Bay High School soccer team remained unbeaten in Sierra Foothill League play with a 7-1 win over Nevada Union on Tuesday afternoon at Granite Bay. A Miner foul just outside the penalty area set up a free kick opportunity for the Grizzlies that led to the opening tally. A touch from senior midfielder Ryan Hollingshead found the left foot of Hallisey, who sent a rocket past the wall of defenders and into the far end of the Nevada Union net. Two players given a rare starting opportunity for the Grizzlies combined seven minutes later to double the advantage. Senior midfielder Chase Dickson found the back of the net with an assist from sophomore Raul Chavez. The duo opened the match on the field as Granite Bay coach Steve Fischer varied his lineup in his ongoing effort to strengthen his squad. “I want everyone working hard every day in practice as well as during games,” Fischer said. “We do not have a set lineup from game to game in part to keep everyone working at top effort.” Nevada Union was unable to mount any challenge to the Grizzlies in the run of play, but the Miners are a dangerous group when it comes to set plays. Midfielder Christian Grapel has mastered the art of the flip throw-in, sending the ball as far as 50 yards in the air after doing a handstand flip to build momentum. That skill proved valuable as the Miners halved the Granite Bay margin with a throw-in from 40 yards out that reached the mouth of the goal. In the confusion in front of the net, Nevada Union’s Marc Hopkinson was able to get his head on the ball just before it crossed the line to get his club on the scoreboard 19 minutes into the contest. One minute later, the Miners missed the goal by inches on a long free kick that would have tied the match, but that was their last chance to stay with Granite Bay. Moments later, Gaschen ripped a high shot over the goalkeeper’s head from 30 yards out to give the Grizzlies a 3-1 lead that held up until halftime. It was all Granite Bay after the intermission, when the Grizzlies scored two goals in the first ten minutes of the second half. Outstanding passing was key in both scores as Gaschen, Hollingshead, and Hallisey carved up the Nevada Union defense. Hollingshead picked up his first goal of the game in those early moments of the second stanza, and Gaschen tallied for the second time. At the midway point of the half, the second goal of the contest by Hallisey extended the advantage to 6-1, and Fischer removed many of his starters from the field. “I like to play all of my guys,” Fischer said. “You need to have depth to win these days, and everyone needs playing time to build depth.” “A game like this gives us an opportunity to work on defending the unique things that Nevada Union does,” he added, and also allows us to get in some work in doing what we do better.” A great run through a number of Miner defenders by freshman midfielder Tyler Thompson resulted in the game’s final goal, which was an own goal charged to Nevada Union. Thompson sent a ball across the face of the goal, seeking a teammate to finish, but the pass deflected off the leg of a retreating Miner back and into the open net. Granite Bay looks to remain perfect in SFL play when the Grizzlies travel to Roseville for a 3:30 match on Thursday.