Oasis Bighorns summit mountain top
Keeping the championship theme in play this spring, the Oasis Bighorns under-15 team claimed the program’s first-ever High Sierra League title on Saturday at North Tahoe High School.
Oasis capped the spring season with a 7-3 win over the Mount Rose Rattlers and an undefeated season with an 11-0 record. Perhaps even more impressive, though, one quarter the Bighorns roster never played the sport before this season, while the club is only in their second season in the U15 division.
The U13 team, meanwhile, split its games to finish sixth, while the Bighorns girls team dropped the Reno Wildfires, 8-4, in their season finale.
In the U15 final, however, Oasis raced out to a quick lead after a pair of goals from Trey Rooks.
The Rattlers answered with a goal, but then team captain Josh Carter fired a long range, underhand rocket to the top corner of the net bringing the crowd to their feet. There were a few tense moments as the Rattlers tied the score at three with their only goal at even strength.
Asfter a timeout, midfielder Donovan Fermaint intercepted a pass in the defensive end and was over the midfield line before anyone had time to react. Using his speed, Fermaint dodged four Rattlers en-route to the goal, where be fired a blast past the Rattlers goaltender to restore the Bighorns lead and tally the eventual game-winning goal.
The Bighorns defense shut the door, allowing only three shots on goal the whole second half. Goaltender Brendan Leary had another stellar game in goal. David Springfield kept the defense from being drawn out of position, while Mason Lofthouse again intercepted passes at will, transitioning the ball to the offense flawlessly.
Early in the fourth quarter, Trent Thorn to put on a show with an unassisted goal off a clean faceoff win. The Bighorns started to feel untouchable as Fermaint made another end-to-end run to score. Attackman Nick Delgado, after hitting the post several times, found the back of the net in the fourth for the final goal of the game.
The U15 team started with a 12-3 drubbing over the Reno Outlaws to open the tournament.
Nate Keener opened the scoring on the opening play of the game, while midfielder Tristan Rodarte tallied four goals and Trey Rooks and Trent Thorn each added a pair.
In addition, Josh Carter and Donovan Fermaint also scored as Oasis won 90 percent of the faceoffs.
In the defensive end, David Springfield and Mason Lofthouse prevented scoring chances while goaltender Kaden Stone turned away all but three shots.
The sixth seeded U13 Bighorns started off the day in a semifinal tilt against the seventh seeded Mount Rose Rattlers, winning 9-3.
Attackman Will Swisher started off the Bighorns scoring with his first of two goals in the game. Samuel Robertson then gave the Bighorns a 2-0 lead. Midfielder Nico Hofheins scored shorthanded to extend the Bighorns lead. Hofheins ended up with a hat trick in the game.
Midfielder Andrew Riley added a pair of goals and attackman Timothy Adams added one. At the other end, goaltender Damien Billips shut the door while Maximus Swan, Garrett Jarschke and Josh Evans anchored the injury-depleted defense when Conor Keitz was no longer able to continue due to injury.
In the afternoon game, the Bighorns took on the fifth-seeded Truckee Tribe. Both teams fought an epic battle, trading goals back and forth en route to a tie game, although the Tribe eventually netted the game winner in double overtime.
As the clock wound down to end regulation, the already undermanned Bighorns lost midfielder Cole Hamlin to a heavy hit. At the start of overtime, Hamlin returned to the game and the Bighorns won the faceoff, but failed to score.
With both teams failing to score in the first OT, the Bighorns again loaded the midfield for the second overtime. Despite generating several good scoring opportunities, the Bighorns found themselves caught in transition and Truckee scored the game-winning goal halfway through the period.
The Bighorns girls, meanwhile, drilled the Wildfires, 8-4, to cap Oasis’ first-ever girls season.
With numerous fouls right from the start, the Bighorns offense and defense started playing less aggressive allowing the Wildfires to slip by and score three goals on goaltender Madison Whitaker. After a timeout, midfielder Brooklynn Whitaker quickly gained possession from a ground ball and scored for Oasis.
Feeling the excitement and determined to score, attacker Meeka Erwin rolled past the defense to score to end the first half 3-2.
Out of the cage, Madi Whitaker changed roles to play center and was quick to gain possession off the draw and charge down the field to score and tie the game to open the second half.
Minutes later, a quick repeat and Whitaker got the Bighorns to their first lead in the game. Keeping the Wildfire defense busy, midfielders Jaidyn Delgado, Alanna Muir and Sadie O’Flaherty all had shots on goal.
Then attacker Maiya Swan gained possession of a ground ball, dodged a double team of defenders and scored for a 5-3 lead. Settling out the offense, attacker Kailena Vasquez made a quick pass to Whitaker to score and Whitaker added another for a 7-3 lead. Defenders Kate Dunkin, Savannah Robinson, Laura Stark and Yamile Stark guarded their new goaltender, Karena Stark, while midfielders Jacilyn Cathey, Aubrey Renfroe, Emma Robinson and Ellie Williams contained the Wildfires offense.
Attacker Taryn Barrenchea tallied Oasis’ final goal for an 8-3 lead and with minutes left in the game, the Wildfires finally scored in the second half, but it was too little too late.
The work is only starting for several of the Bighorns. Seven of the girls will compete at the Tahoe Summit Tournament in two weeks.
Rooks, Rodarte, Delgado and Leary are off to three U15 tournaments this summer playing on the High Sierra League All-Star Team and Hofheins will play with the U13 All-Star team.
Information provided by Oasis coach John Keitz.