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Oak Ridge soccer earns 3-0 win over Ponderosa

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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The second of two matches between rivals Oak Ridge and Ponderosa went to the home team, as the Trojans laid out a second half welcome mat in the fashion of a 3-0 shutout Monday inside Trojan Stadium. Another physical back-and-forth game was even through the first 40 minutes and like their last match on Sept. 28, in which the Trojans won 2-1, whoever scored first in the back half would likely win it. Oak Ridge (2-4-1 in league) pressured the Bruins into sloppy first-half play and a meager three shots on Trojan goalkeeper David Item, but lacked the offensive numbers to flood the opposite goalie box. Sean Woldberg was the first to reward his keeper’s first-half efforts. Chris “CJ” Hoversten and Tanner Bacci, who eventually assisted Woldberg, dribbled through Ponderosa defenders in the left corner and found Kyle Dickinson in front of goal. Dickinson’s shot deflected off a defender and to Woldberg for the power finish in the 43rd minute past Ponderosa’s keeper, who didn’t stand at a chance at another save. The Trojans had as many shots in the first 15 minutes of the second half as they did in the entire first. Their aggressive play to the ball and offensive pushes made possible one of the best halves coach Henry Reis agreed he had seen this season. “We’ve been talking about always showing numbers and haven’t been doing it. The second half we actually attacked with five players and had five or six guys in the box. In the first half we only had one or two in there. So, I told them, “If you don’t show numbers you’re not going to score,” said Reis. His team responded, taking 15 shots in the second half; more than double the number of the first. The defense, anchored by Ben Schowengerdt and often times Woldberg, held a strong defensive third and allowed Ponderosa nine shots through 80 minutes. Ponderosa squeaked off two shots in the second half. In the box consistently in the second half were any number of Trojan forwards and midfielders eager to put Ponderosa to rest. Woldberg kept attacking and combined for an assist on his team’s next goal by Roger Blum in the 60th. Woldberg dribbled and built a stellar pass for an even better first touch toward goal to beat the defender by Blum. Woldberg and Blum each have two goals in two games against Ponderosa this season. Oak Ridge earned three consecutive corner kicks through the 61st and 62nd minutes led by Dickinson, who put three shots on goal with no result. Finally in the 78th, with his team on an offensive terror the past 32 minutes, Dickinson rebounded his own shot off a goalkeeper save and second-chanced a goal which proved tricky to earn. “After a few unlucky attempts and some great saves by the keeper, I finally followed up on that shot and finished one out,” said Dickinson. “Playing Pondo is always a tough match. It definitely started out a little slow and less aggressive, but we finished out again for the second time. This game should be inspiration for us through the rest of the season.” In two games against their rival, Oak Ridge has scored three goals with less than 10 minutes to play and pulled out two second-half wins both away and now at home. The second-half charge wouldn’t have been possible without Item’s presence. He made five first half saves, seven total. Oak Ridge lost a tough 1-0 match to Pleasant Grove last week following a 3-1 drop to Folsom the game before. With two wins and three more matches to play in the Delta River League, Reis hopes to finish on a high note. “Here at the end it’s important to finish strong and show well. I think this win will take us to a high level of play,” said Reis. Oak Ridge plays at Pleasant Grove on Wednesday. Next week concludes with home games against Jesuit and Folsom.