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Folsom-Cordova lacrosse secures playoff spot with rivalry redemption

By: Patrick Ibarra
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A 14-10 loss to rival Orangevale exactly a month ago meant two things for the Folsom-Cordova United lacrosse team. One, the team would have to beat Orangevale to end the season in first place. Two, it would have to beat Orangevale to end the season to guarantee a playoff spot. On May 1 Folsom-Cordova got its chance and took full advantage, bringing the thunder amidst a downpour of rain with an impressive 16-5 victory over the Rams at Prairie City Stadium. The dominant performance gave Folsom the edge in the Varsity East standings, with both teams finishing with a 10-3 overall record. The first place finish will most likely give Folsom-Cordova home field advantage in next week’s playoffs, with brackets to be determined after the weekend. “I think the first time we played them we underestimated them,” said United attacker Blake Oliaro, who scored four goals in the match. “We were motivated this time. We paced ourselves a lot better. We controlled the game.” Thanks largely to Oliaro and another seven goals by midfielder Brian Anderson, Folsom-Cordova looked unaffected by a heavy rain seen flooding the track surrounding the field. “It’s awesome (scoring seven goals), especially in a hard game like this,” Anderson said. “It really means something.” Who Folsom-Cordova plays next will depend on how the 7-2 Chico Rebels do on May 3. The Rebels face the Varsity South division’s top dog, the Tomahawks, a game if the Rebels lose could mean a third game between cross-town rivals. “It could happen,” Anderson said of a second rematch with the Rams, this time in the first round of the NCJLA playoffs. “There’s a very high possibility,” smiled Oliaro. Regardless of the opponent, Folsom-Cordova set itself up well with the night’s win. “It’s important because we’re so spread out (in distance with league teams),” Folsom-Cordova coach Mike Messersmith said of the value of a home game in the playoffs. “We would much rather play at our home field as opposed to driving to Palo Alto or even further. It’s a big deal for us and we’ve never had a home field playoff game, so it’s kind of a milestone and we’re happy to be doing it.” Last year, Folsom-Cordova lost in the first round after traveling hours to play the eventual state champions. “It takes your energy driving so long,” Oliaro said. “It’s a lot easier to come here.”