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PREP BOYS SOCCER

Folsom upends Woodcreek in SFL showdown

By: Steven Wilson,
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Just like Taylor Swift’s pop song, there was bad blood between Folsom and Woodcreek heading into Wednesday night’s SFL contest. 

The two teams met in the semifinals of the Summerhays Classic at Del Campo High School, where Folsom escaped with a 1-0 win after scoring a goal in the opening ten minutes. A red card was issued in that game to the Bulldogs’ Eric McEntosh for aggressive play. 

On Wednesday, McEntosh was again involved in extra-curricular activity, but this time, he was on the receiving end as Woodcreek’s Cameron Bellucci slammed him to the turf after a tussle near midfield.

“We knew it was going to be emotional, we just didn’t know how emotional,” T-Wolves coach Mark Bowman said. “We actually lost one of our best players for our next game.”

Bellucci was given a red card and left the field, while McEntosh earned a yellow and headed to the bench. The dismissal of Woodcreek’s leading scoring was indicative of the team’s underwhelming performance as the T-Wolves allowed two first half goals and couldn’t respond with an equalizer in a 2-0 loss. 

“I think we’re two comparable teams,” Bowman said. “Usually, whichever team scores first, it’s a confidence booster. And in turn, that drains confidence from the team that is scored on. So you’re always hoping to be the first one to score.”

Momentum swung in Folsom’s favor first as Spencer Hoyle found the back of the net for the Bulldogs nine minutes into the game. 

“We moved the ball really well and the early goal definitely helped,” Folsom coach Mike McBride said. “I was really happy with our ball movement and the midfield played really well.”

Shortly after the score, the rain began to fall. 

Scoring became much more difficult and both teams were deadlocked until late in the first half. Folsom added to its lead as Pablo Herrera finished off a cross for a 2-0 advantage at the break.

“Folsom is a very good team — they do a lot of things we want to do,” Bowman said. “But I was proud of the boys to hold them to two goals with just ten men. Some guys stepped up and held them scoreless despite Folsom hitting us — they weren’t backing off.”

Despite a few good runs after intermission, neither team could find the net. Making it even tougher, Woodcreek was forced to play without Bellucci — their top scorer — after his midfield wrestling match.

“They have (Bellucci), who is very dangerous,” McBride said. “You basically put your best defender on him and you let them play. He made a couple good runs, but we wouldn’t let him get started — we had a second defender there to help out.”

Due to injury, Woodcreek was without one of its top defenders in Francisco Partida, while Brandon Wintsch and Rustin Blas sat with previous cards.

“I held those two guys so we wouldn’t lose them for the next game as well,” Bowman admitted. “Both are starters and I couldn’t afford to lose any more starters because the schedule doesn’t get any easier for us. 

“You can’t take anything for granted. That’s what I tell these boys, ‘You have to take every game as a battle and that’s what it is.’”

Woodcreek will look to bounce back today at home against Oak Ridge — the defending section champs. Kickoff for that match is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.