By Brandon Anicich
EL DORADO HILLS — Oak Ridge High’s varsity boys soccer program suffered two losses this year in Delta River League action but Tuesday at home, the Trojans avenged one by dropping Pleasant Grove 6-1 on Senior Night to clinch second place and a playoff berth.
Seniors Kevin Eccles, Brian Looper, Sean Miller, Ryan Mullin, Cameron Perkins and Alex Piatak were honored for their efforts.
“The seniors have been a great help in getting this program moving forward,” coach Joe Champion said. “I think that with this being their final year playing Oak Ridge soccer, many of them came into the season desperate to see some changes in the program. At first some of them might have had some trouble adjusting to the new approach — but all of them have taken it and ran, and they have helped set a high mark for the program to build upon.”
Junior attacker Justin Bethke presented his seniors with a unique gift — a hat trick — his first of the year in a match that saw Oak Ridge absolutely dominate the visiting Eagles on both ends of the field. With three other Trojan goals coming from juniors Hunter Tully, Michael Trumbull and Noah Bensman, Troy is peaking at the right time.
Tully started things off early, scoring unassisted in the second minute of play. Bethke matched Tully’s effort in the 25th minute with a feed from Piatak before scoring again in the 31st with an assist from sophomore Alec Hester’s free kick. Trumbell’s score came two minutes later with senior support from Miller.
Mullin played a fantastic keeper throughout the match as Pleasant Grove’s only score came in the 43rd minute. Bethke finished his hat trick in the 52nd minute on a brilliant header made possible by Looper’s chip pass, while Bensman capped off the scoring with a 64th minute score assisted by Cole Cahill.
Oak Ridge is 6-2-1 in Delta River League action, 10-2-3 overall.