Upper Lake Football Teams Sweep Willits – Lake County Record-Bee
UPPER LAKE — Vanessa Lopez-Becerra scored just 43 seconds into the game, setting the tone for what would be a dominating performance by the undefeated Upper Lake High School women’s soccer team in a victory 7-0 out of the league against the Willits Wolverines on Monday night at Upper Lake.
“I told them to stop stressing me out with slow starts,” Upper Lake head coach Daniella Santana said.
Lopez-Becerra certainly did his part, scoring each of the Cougars’ first two goals and assisting on a Nya Marcks goal as the Cougars took a 3-0 halftime lead. Maddy Young and Tristin Rhodes assisted on Lopez-Becerra’a’s goals.
The Cougars (8-0) started fast in the second half and Jayme Zimmerschied scored just three minutes into the half to make it 4-0, with Lopez-Becerra picking up his second assist of the game.
Ashlyn Rhodes scored Upper Lake’s next two goals as the Cougars moved ahead 6-0, with Tristin Rhodes and Young picking up the assists.
Marissa Russio’s goal, assisted by Tristin Rhodes, completed the scoring.
Santana was able to empty his bench early in the game.
“All of our reserves had a lot of playing time,” Santana said as the Cougars took advantage of a Willits team that was less than its best player.
Lopez-Becerra’s performance clearly stood out for the Cougars, according to Santana.
“Vanessa definitely had a great game,” said Santana, who also praised the play of Tristin Rhodes and defender/midfielder Tatum Salas.
Upper Lake travels to Tomales for a North Central League II game on Wednesday and remains on the road on Friday to face defending league champion Credo.
In the boys’ football action on Monday:
Upper Lake 5, Willits 1
In Upper Lake, playing for the third time this season, the Upper Lake Cougars finally launched their offense against the Willits Wolverines in non-championship action.
Willits’ defense shut out Upper Lake (3-8) in two previous meetings, winning 2-0 at the Tyler Duncan Memorial Tournament in mid-August in Upper Lake, then battling the Cougars to a 0-0 draw on August 29 in non-league action at Willits.
What was the difference this time?
“Erick Espinoza is back with us,” Upper Lake head coach Thomas Santana said. “He was a first-team All-League player for us last season and he strengthened our defense. He really made sure we could expand the field with our other players.
Upper Lake opened a 2-0 half-time lead on a Manny Villalobos penalty and an Angel Serafin goal assisted by Sammy Avalos. Willits closed at 2-1 early in the second period before Jaden Nunez scored back-to-back goals to give the Cougars a healthy 4-1 cushion. Villalobos and Avalos assist on his goals. The Cougars added a final insurance goal in the final minutes when Avalos scored with an assist from Villalobos.
Santana praised the play of Espinoza, Villalobos, Nunez and Avalos.