Bulldogs headed to Napa for third time in four years

By: Matt Long
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The trip to the Napa Valley is becoming all too familiar for Folsom High’s soccer team. The last two times Folsom High’s varsity boys’ soccer team has made the playoffs, they’ve been unceremoniously eliminated by Vintage High, the game which has been sandwiched between two long bus rides. Vintage defeated Folsom in 2006, 5-0 and again last year, 4-1, in the first round of the playoffs. On Friday, the Bulldogs will make another trip down to Napa to face the Crushers, winners of the Monticello Empire League with a record of 11-2-2. The team is 15-6-2 overall. The Bulldogs finished third in the Delta River League with a 4-2-4 record and an 11-5-4 mark overall. “Vintage runs a 4-4-2 against us, but they like to push up quickly so we’re going to have to play solidly defensively and counterattack,” Folsom coach Mike McBride said. “It would also help if we could put the ball in the net too.” McBride’s comments came following Folsom’s 1-1 tie against Monterey Trail on Thursday, a game the team thoroughly dominated from start to finish but only managed a single goal. The Bulldogs had several chances, particularly throughout the second half, but only scored once on Scott Hayes’ goal, when he followed up Drew Whitney’s shot, which ricocheted off the crossbar. Moments later, Folsom scored again, but put the ball in its own net, resulting in the tie. Hayes, Whitney, Kian Faroughi, Zach Williams, Robel Yamane and many others all either created or had glorious opportunities to score but either hit crossbars or posts, missed the net or had their shots saved. “We dominated the game and did everything but finish,” McBride said. “That’s the way it goes some times.” Folsom captain Bryan Lepage thought the team could have played better. “It wasn’t our best day,” Lepage said. “We need to string passes together better and communicate more. That will be the key next week against Vintage too.” Williams agreed with his coach that his team did everything but finish. “We were working hard out there, but just ran into some bad luck,” Williams said. “We’re going to have to work just as hard against Vintage, attack them and crash the goal and finish if we want to win.” Folsom opened last week with a 2-0 loss to Jesuit.