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Oak Ridge girls' soccer narrows gap in SFL with win over Granite Bay

By: Matt Long of the Telegraph
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Given the fact it’s generally hard to score goals in soccer, when teams of similar skill compete it’s normally a close game with little separating a win, a loss, or tie.

The competitive nature of the game, as well as teams in the Sierra Foothill League, has both the boys and girls standings bunched up as the league season reaches its midpoint.

On the girls’ side, Oak Ridge handed SFL-leading Granite Bay its first loss of the season last Thursday, which made things even closer. The Grizzlies lead the way with a 4-1 record, while Oak Ridge sits in fourth place with a 3-2 mark as the week begins. Folsom (4-1-1) and Del Oro (2-1-2) sit in between.

Coming off wins over Rocklin and Granite Bay, Oak Ridge hopes to keep the ball rolling its way with games against Del Oro at home and at Nevada Union (0-5-0) this week.

“This week is about using the momentum we have built from last week,” Oak Ridge coach Matt Jones said. “The girls now know what they are capable of against the top teams so it’s important not to drop our level. Del Oro will be a good game. They’ve always had a strong program so the girls need to be ready for battle.”

In the 3-0 win over Rocklin, Jess Polson, Alexa Myers and Ava Nkadi found the back of the net in a solid performance for the Trojans.

“This was our best overall team performance I’ve seen against a dangerous Rocklin team,” Jones said. “The whole team played well that night, individually and collectively. The girls’ work rate, desire and quality when we had the ball were key factors in the win.”

Two days later, Alyssa Carranza scored the only goal in the win over Granite Bay on a rainy, windy night. Nkadi had the assist. Jones called out center back Sophia Barden for her strong play.

“Sophia put her body on the line on numerous occasions in front of our goal,” Jones said. “She was always in the correct position and made well-timed tackles to stop Granite Bay’s forwards from scoring.”

The Trojans head to Nevada Union on Thursday.

“We’ve already beaten them 10-0 so it’s important that the team go out with the correct attitude,” Jones said. “They can’t be complacent. We have to show Nevada Union respect on the pitch and get the job done. If we think the game’s already won, we could be in trouble.”