Eagles, Grizzlies tie at four

By: Brett Ransford
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A thrilling match between two section champion teams in Division II Granite Bay (7-1-1) and Division IV Vista del Lago (4-0-1) was banged out in stoppage time and drew an even 4-4 tie on Monday afternoon in Granite Bay. Granite Bay erased a 3-0 deficit and entered stoppage time after scoring three goals in about 10 minutes. A penalty kick awarded to Vista’s Tim Fairley in the 81st and a free kick to Granite Bay’s Tanner Thompson in the 83rd added to an otherwise bizarre match. Thompson’s shot deflected off a Vista defender and past goalie Chris Bringgold. The head referee ended the match instantly. Referees called more than 30 fouls, three yellow cards to each team and a red card to Vista’s Brandon Wallace in the 45th on a double-yellow. Granite Bay lost one of their players, midfielder Dominic Scotti, to a shin injury in the 80th. Aggressive play earned both teams successful penalty kicks – Vista in the 81st and Granite Bay’s Ty Thompson in the 67th. The Grizzlies took more shots, but couldn’t contend with two daggers from Fairley and Mark LePage in the first half. Fairley headed in a Ryan Erlichman’s set piece, which began just inside the half line. Fairley led Vista with two goals. LePage went unassisted and blasted the 2-0 goal past Granite Bay keeper Austin Wade in the 37th. Jake Murphy put Vista up 3-0 in the 55th. Vista shut down eight Grizzly first-half shots and planted their defense at the top of the goalie box. The Grizzlies’ scoring had to be a little more concentrated in the second half, both in time and talent. All Granite Bay scoring was done by one-of-three brothers – senior captain Ty, junior Tanner and sophomore Tommy Thompson. Tommy struck first for the Grizzlies in the 60th. Older brother Ty added the PK in the 67th and Ty then assisted Tommy’s second goal in the 71st. Tanner completed the trio in the 83rd and saved his team from their second preseason loss. “We weren’t quite as ready or as focused as we need to be today,” said Granite Bay coach Steve Fischer. “We weren’t ready to play for a multitude of reasons, but down 3-0 decided to play. I had to remind [his team] what our priorities are. Teams like Vista, who are quick and physical, make you pay for a lack of passion.” The Eagles are off to a 2-0-0 start to the Sierra Valley Conference in a potential sectional title repeat year. Coach Joe Esfandiary said his team got tired in the second half and played as well as could be expected. “We came out and played better than [Granite Bay] did, but we got tired and they made a great comeback. It was a tough, but great game,” said Esfandiary. “I was very happy with the result. I didn’t know anything about Granite Bay coming in. I just told my players you have to stand them up and go toe-to-toe with them and I was very proud of our team.” Vista has a league game against River City on Wednesday. Saturday’s second Crosstown Cup pits Vista against Folsom at 8 p.m. The junior varsity game is at 6 p.m. Granite Bay concludes preseason with Division I Davis on Wednesday. Sierra Foothill League play begins at home hosting Nevada Union on Friday.