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See Yucaipa and Colony Girl’s Soccer Teams in Action

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Photos By BOB OTTO

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YUCAIPA, CA – The Yucaipa Thunderbirds girl’s soccer team won a hard-fought, 3-0, victory over the Colony Titans in the first-round of CIF-Southern Section Division II Playoffs.

See both teams in action by visiting the game photo gallery:
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Much to Cheer(s) about for Yucaipa girl’s soccer team

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

The Yucaipa girls’ soccer team defeated visiting Colony, 3-0, at Yucaipa High School, Friday, in the first round of CIF-SS Division II Playoffs.
Photos By BOB OTTO

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YUCAIPA, CA – Nicole Cheers is fast, strong, and aggressive. So when Yucaipa girl’s soccer coach, Sheila Huggins, decided to move her from center-midfielder to forward, it changed the whole complexion of the Thunderbirds.

Now, teamed with Kodi Lavrusky, the Thunderbirds (21-5-1) have one of the best scoring tandems in Southern California.

Cheers didn’t score any goals, but she played a big part in Yucaipa’s, 3-0, victory over the visiting Colony Titans (15-9-1), Friday in the first round of CIF-Southern Section Division II Playoffs.

The junior had seven shots on goal, and she assisted on Tina Shoffeitt’s goal at the five-minute mark that gave Yucaipa a 1-0 lead. And again at the 58th minute Cheers assisted on Lavrusky’s second goal that gave the Lady Thunderbirds an insurmountable lead.

“She played great and won everything in the air with the flicks of her head,” said Huggins. “She had the header flick that set up Kodi. (Cheers) is very physical, very solid, and she’s able to win balls in the air. Once we moved her to forward the last six games it totally changed our team.”

So how does Cheers feel about this abrupt change of position?

“It’s cool, now I get to score more,” said the smiling Cheers. “I like it because now I’m attacking instead of attacking and defending.”

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Post-season play begins for Yucaipa Girl’s Soccer

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

The Yucaipa Lady Thunderbirds embark on their journey through the CIF-Southern Section Division II Playoffs with a home game against the Colony Titans, Friday.
Photos By BOB OTTO

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YUCAIPA, CA – A 20-5-1 record and a second-place finish in the tough eight-team Citrus Belt League with a 12-2 record would have most of the league’s girl’s soccer coaches and teams absolutely beaming. Absolutely giddy with pride.

Well, that’s not the way things work at Yucaipa High School.

Over the past several years, the bar has been set high for the Lady Thunderbirds. They expect to win league every year. And they expect to go far in the California Interscholastic Federation post-season playoffs.

Anything less leaves them with a bit of an empty feeling. Sort of like a hungry lumberjack sitting down to a kid’s meal at Denny’s.

This year the Lady Thunderbirds finished second in the CBL to their long-standing rivals from down the hill – the Redlands East Valley Wildcats – which sealed their fate as the CBL’s second place team and the number two seed in the CIF-Southern Section, Division II Playoffs.

Last year the team won its second-consecutive league championship with an 11-0-3 mark, 25-3-4 overall, and Yucaipa won three games to advance to the semi-finals of CIF playoffs where they lost to Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood, 2-1.

How does Yucaipa coach, Sheila Huggins feel about her 2009-2010 Lady Thunderbirds versus last year’s model?

“Last year, I think we were a tad bit stronger because we had great senior leadership from people like April Moreno and Kellie Bohner,” Huggins said. “Plus the speed and heart of Braelyn Tirella kept us in every game.

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