Soccer season starts between storms

Granite Bay wins season-opening tourney
By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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Taking full advantage of the lull between winter storms, all four Roseville area high school girls soccer teams enjoyed success in tournaments on Friday and Saturday. While Roseville was at the Kennedy tournament in Sacramento, Granite Bay, Oakmont and Woodcreek all made the trek to Woodland for the Cal Springs Tournament. Granite Bay won its pool at the tourney with a quartet of impressive shutouts, and while its defense was dominating all comers, the Lady Grizzlies also put on an impressive offensive show. Led by six goals from senior Sarah Kendall and five from sophomore Tasha Hartford, Granite Bay found the back of the net 29 times in four games. Kendall scored four of her goals in the event’s first game, and 8-0 win over Lindhurst (Olivehurst). Senior Becca Cox and junior Monica Tingley each tallied twice in that contest. The Lady Grizzlies scored 11 goals against Mira Loma in their second game with a very balanced distribution of the scoring. Senior forward Anne Taylor picked up two goals in the match and Hartford added a pair while seven other players lit up the scoreboard for Granite Bay. A 6-0 win over River Valley sent Granite Bay into the title game, as Hartford delivered a hat trick with a trio of scoring strikes. The Lady Grizzlies did all of their scoring after intermission in the 4-0 first-place win over Yuba City Saturday, as junior forward Lauren Mendez scored twice and Kendall and sophomore forward Erin Pellerin each scored once. Starting goalkeeper Kelsie Cooper went the distance in the final after splitting time with sophomore Maria De La Cruz in earlier contests as the duo kept the net clean all weekend long. Oakmont was in a different bracket at the tourney, where the Lady Vikings beat Laguna Creek 3-2 and Pioneer 2-0 on Friday before losing to Vanden 3-0 early Saturday morning. That result sent Oakmont to the third-place match, where it took a 1-0 decision over Galt. Woodcreek also participated in the Cal Springs event where it had a 1-0 win over Lick-Wilmerding and a 1-0 loss to Forest Lake Christian among its results. Following wins over Colfax and Lincoln to open its season, Roseville reached the final at the Kennedy tourney before losing 1-0 to Franklin. “Our kids did a great job,” said Roseville coach Pablo Gutierrez. “The defense allowed only one goal and the offense scored nine goals. We had a great weekend.” Sophomore forward Amanda Ellsworth, who had scored all five Roseville goals in the wins over Colfax and Lincoln, picked up four more in the tourney to lead the Lady Tiger offense. She scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Rio Linda and then punched home three more in a 6-0 win over the host team. Senior Megan Looper joined the goal-scoring party with three against Kennedy and then added one more in a 2-0 win over Sierra Foothill League rival Nevada Union. Sophomore midfielder Adrianne Bates picked up the second tally against the Miners. While the rain is wreaking havoc with the schedule for this week, Woodcreek is scheduled to host Woodland Tuesday night and Center Thursday night at 7 p.m. Oakmont is set to host Whitney Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. while Roseville returns to Sacramento to try to make it two in a row against Kennedy Tuesday afternoon. Granite Bay is scheduled to host St. Francis Thursday and Natomas will visit Roseville, with both games starting at 3:30 p.m., weather-permitting.