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Vista soccer team ties Cosumnes Oaks, 1-1

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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The battle for the Sierra Valley Conference soccer championship is shaping up into a barnburner. Coming off a 2-1 loss to conference-leading Galt last week, Vista del Lago’s varsity soccer team tied Cosumnes Oaks on Thursday for the second time this season. The Eagles and Wolfpack are 4-2-1 in the Sierra Valley Conference, trailing Galt, who is 5-1-0. River City sits in third place with a 4-2-0 record. The Eagles tied Cosumnes Oaks, 0-0, the first time they met on Sept. 11. On Thursday 80 minutes wasn’t enough again to determine a winner, as both teams found the back of the net once. On top of that, while the Wolfpack dominated the first half, the Eagles maintained control in the second. “This game was much more physical than our first meeting and that’s to be expected,” Vista coach Joe Esfandiary said. “When you have teams battling for the top spot in the league a game like this usually happens. We didn’t come out strong and play our game in the first half and we lost a lot of balls in the midfield and that’s not how we play. In the second half, we reversed positions and controlled the game quite a bit. We just missed two or three opportunities to score.” The Wolfpack took the early lead eight minutes into the game and had the Eagles’ scrambling for much of the half, as they had the ball deep in Vista’s end of the field. The Eagles weathered the storm, though, as keepers PJ Sullivan (first half) and Brandon Lee (second half) kept Cosumnes Oaks off the board the rest of the way. Between scoring opportunities, however, the teams routinely made contact with each other and in several cases, it was hard contact. “We picked it up in the second half when we realized we needed to win more 50-50 balls,” said Vista junior Logan Dearborn. “I think we should have won the game. It came down to who wanted it more and I guess we both wanted it the same.” Dearborn got the tying goal eight minutes into the second half, which gave his team a big boost. Michael LePage took a free kick from midfield that sailed deep into the Cosumnes Oaks goalie box. “I just made a run for the back post and nicked it with my head and it went in,” Dearborn said. Vista had opportunities to score again. With three minutes remaining the Eagles had a rally in front of the keeper. A minute later Colin Cook took a blistering shot that just went wide of the net. Cosumnes Oaks came back with one last attempt. With Lee out of the box, Daniel Jacobs was the last line of defense and cleared the ball before the Wolfpack could get to it.