Folsom advances to playoffs

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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After losing their first five games of the season, Folsom High’s varsity soccer team has turned its season around by winning six and tying of their last 12 games.
Folsom’s 1-0 win over Ponderosa on Oct. 23 not only locked up a playoff berth, but also improved its league record to 5-3-1 and secured a third-place finish. Matt Morton earned the game’s only goal when he took a free kick from Roberto Garcia and kicked the ball off a Ponderosa defender and into the net in the 89th minute.
Folsom finished the regular season Thursday with a 2-2 tie against Pleasant Grove and enter the playoffs with a 6-9-2 record. The win over the Bruins, however, was the big game. It was the second time this season the Bulldogs defeated Ponderosa, but their first win was taken away when it was ruled that Folsom played an ineligible player.
“We showed our true colors in that game,” said Folsom tri-captain Brandon Riel. “Our first win against them was taken away but we ended up beating them again. It was satisfying to get credit for it this time. On top of that it sealed the playoffs for us.”
Folsom finished the season with the tie with the Eagles on Thursday. Garcia scored both goals, as the Bulldogs entered the playoffs Tuesday with a little bit of momentum. Folsom is the 11th seed and played at No. 6 Vintage. If Folsom pulled the upset, the team will play again Thursday, either at No. 3 Grant or at home against No. 14 El Camino. Folsom played Grant on Sept. 17 and lost 2-0.
“Our intensity in games and in practices has really increased since league play started,” Riel said. “We’ve taken our talent and put it together. To make a run in the playoffs, we need to continue to have that intensity, stay united as one team and play well.”