Pondo soccer gets past Trojans
SHINGLE SPRINGS — In vying for a potential postseason spot, host Ponderosa had to earn it against arch-rival Oak Ridge Thursday.
“Oak Ridge always comes out strong and with a lot of effort,” Bruin coach Greg Spangler said after his Bruins were able to pull out a gritty 1-0 Delta River League soccer win over the Trojans.
The first half was sluggish. Oak Ridge had an early opportunity on a pass from Alex Herzog to a streaking Cameron Perkins, but the shot went awry. The Trojans remained aggressive, and had another chance to score in the 30th minute but a shot by Tyler Sarner was snuffed out. Ponderosa missed on a free kick and the two teams went into the half scoreless.
The host Bruins came out more aggressive in the second half. In the 47th minute, Joshua Holbrook nearly broke the deadlock after shaking his defender for a shot that grazed goalie Tanner Rosenbaum and was headed towards the back of the net before Doug James alertly made the clear protecting the line. Each team continued to press, and subsequently, draw cards. Seven yellow and two red resulted with one coming at a crucial juncture as Trevor Swartz was fouled in the goalie box in the 71st minute, setting up a Ponderosa penalty kick. Swartz punched the ball in and the Bruins led 1-0. After stopping an Oak Ridge shot, the Bruins turned it over to the defense to preserve the victory.
“I’m really happy with the way the team’s playing,” senior Jared Saint said.
“We just need to stay healthy, and keep playing well,” Spangler concurred.
Ponderosa improves their record to 10-2 overall with a 6-2 league record, and Oak Ridge falls to 3-8-1 overall, and 1-6-1 in league play.