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Folsom defeats Oak Ridge, 3-1, but misses playoffs with Sheldon win over Pleasant Grove

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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Even with a 3-1 win over rival Oak Ridge on Wednesday night, Folsom High’s varsity boys’ soccer team still found themselves outside looking in on the playoffs. Folsom finished the Delta River League season with a 4-4-2 record, but Pleasant Grove and Sheldon both finished one game better at 5-3-2 and placed second and third, respectively. Sheldon upset Pleasant Grove 3-1 to take the third spot. Against Oak Ridge Wednesday, tensions escalated between league rivals and peaked in the final five minutes. Folsom midfielder Jordan Fuller received a red card in the 74th minute due to contact with Oak Ridge defensive anchor Ben Schowengerdt. The Bulldogs responded quickly with 10 players on the field and Roberto Garcia tucked a third goal past Trojan keeper David Item in the 80th. The win marked the second 3-1 victory over Oak Ridge in the past two weeks and moved Folsom close to a postseason berth, but it wasn’t enough. The Bulldogs defeated the Trojans, but controversy and physicality arrived early to put them through a gauntlet to get there. Brandon Riel’s goal in the 14th minute might have been an indicator of injuries and cards to come. Tim Van Tuyle dribbled around Oak Ridge defenders and crossed into Riel, who deflected his shot off the far post and drew attention away from the injury near the Oak Ridge sideline. Kyle Dickinson went down in the early 14th with a possible concussion and play continued for the majority of the next minute resulting in Riel’s goal. Oak Ridge coach Henry Reis said the head referee apologized to him for missing Dickinson lying on the ground near Reis on the sideline. Folsom coach Ray Robitaille said his team earned all of its goals. Dickinson was escorted to the hospital by family shortly after. Ryan Chung scored the only Trojan goal in the 36th. Oak Ridge highlights were plenty in the first half with six saves from Item, the first five of which were in the first 20 minutes. The Bulldogs out-shot Oak Ridge 6-5 and Item again qualified his team for second half redemption, only to be disappointed. Item made seven saves in the second half against nine shots and a very physical forty minutes. Chris MacNeill got the better of Item in the 49th on a one-time shot and goal inside the goalie box. The score arguably set off a string of events which included two yellow cards, a red card and a couple injuries. “A human being can only take so much before he says, “I’m not going to take this anymore,” said Robitaille in regard to the final five minutes of play. “Kids got slammed and knocked around all night long and we walked away with the win.” Oak Ridge came up with chances to get back in the match late. Chung and Zach Waite Baglin cranked off shots just over the crossbar in the 59th and 61st minutes. Nico Lionakis capped his team’s five shots in the second half with the final one in the 82nd, which drifted wide. “I think the yellow cards kind of got to us a little toward the end and we made some mistakes. Some of those calls were probably not as deserved as others, but we made mistakes which set the tempo in the other direction. The guys maintained a high intensity all game and all season though,” said Reis. Oak Ridge celebrated 10 seniors at halftime, who will leave Reis spots to fill next season. Reis said he will look into a four-year plan and possibly bring in younger players depending on the incoming freshmen next year.