Thompson hat trick lifts Granite Bay
Make it two years in a row the Granite Bay Grizzlies sent home McClatchy in the semifinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II soccer playoffs. Make it two years in a row the Grizzlies will face Bella Vista for the championship.
The latest Granite Bay stomping occurred Thursday in a 4-0 shutout of McClatchy, featuring three goals from sophomore Tommy Thompson. Last season’s victory read 5-0 and included a goal from Thompson.
Like he’s done so many times in two seasons, Thompson went on an offensive tear.
In the 19th minute, he was assisted by brother Tanner Thompson and quickly struck a low shot past a diving goalkeeper, who might have had a better chance had he closed his eyes and guessed.
J.C. Nichols then found Dominic Scotti, who earned the assist when Tommy Thompson went through the keeper’s legs for the goal.
Arguably most impressive was Thompson’s third goal, in which he baited and spun around defenders in the left corner before entering the box and completing the hat trick.
“I got the privilege of getting isolated against some of their guys, and I’m always looking for those opportunities,” Thompson said. “It’s just one of those games where I have to have some fun with some tricks out there.”
Andrew Stabbert entered the match and quickly scored the final goal in the 42nd on another assist from Tanner Thompson.
Granite Bay keepers Austin Wade (first half) and Andrew Erbland (second) each made four saves against nine total McClatchy shots.
The Grizzlies likely will be tested further against a potent Bella Vista offense at 4 p.m. Saturday. Tommy Thompson scored twice and Tanner Thompson once in last year’s 4-0 championship win over the Broncos.
“Bella Vista had a very strong team last year, so there might be a little bit of a revenge factor,” Granite Bay coach Steve Fischer said. “They’ll play us tough. I expect a very quick, very physical game. The first goal is going to be critical.”
Woodcreek coach Chris Branson related all too well, as the Timberwolves fell to Bella Vista 2-1 on Thursday in the other semifinal.
“They outplayed us in a lot of different ways,” Branson said. “Part of it is playing on their field because it’s small and choppy and they’re used to playing on it, but they played well. It was good to make a transition back to playoffs this year, and that was our goal all season, to make playoffs.”
Woodcreek’s season included four shutouts against Sierra Foothill League opponents and a 1-1 tie against Granite Bay.
SAC-JOAQUIN SECTION DIVISION II FINAL
Who: Granite Bay vs. Bella Vista
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove