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Trojan soccer team continues to fight

By: Matt Long
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Oak Ridge High’s varsity boys’ soccer team continues to fight in the competitive Delta River League. This week the Trojans, (2-4 in league, 4-6 overall) suffered a 3-2 loss to Folsom on Monday before rebounding for an impressive 4-1 win over Sheldon on Wednesday. The Trojans and Folsom were tied at one at halftime, but Folsom scored twice in the second half, before Kyran Bennett drew Oak Ridge to within one at 3-2. The Trojans, however, couldn’t get the equalizer. “The Folsom game was a big reality check for us because it’s a team we felt we should have been able to beat,” Oak Ridge coach Henry Reis said. “The boys rose to the occasion against Sheldon. They had to prove that they could compete.” Against the Huskies on Wednesday, Oak Ridge controlled the play from the start, getting a goal four minutes into the game from Lee Barclay on a breakaway, thanks to a strong and accurate throw-in from Nico Lionakis that led Barclay to the goal. Though Barclay and forward Kyran Bennett didn’t hook up on any goals, the two worked well together, several times making nifty passes to spring the other to goal-scoring opportunities. “We’ve been playing together for two years now and we get along well,” Barclay said of his chemistry with Bennett. Six minutes after Barclay’s goal, Bennett made a cross to Barclay, who just missed the net wide left. Two minutes later the two hooked up again, but Barclay was shoved in the back by a Sheldon defender and lost the ball and the Trojans didn’t get the call from the referee. Bennett gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead 14 minutes into the game, powering in a shot following a cross from Sean Woldberg. Oak Ridge made it 3-0 late in the first half, following another Bennett cross to Tanner Bacci, who spun around and connected with the ball with his right foot and put it by the keeper. CJ Hoversten, though he did not score, played a solid game, distributing the ball, as did Lionakis. Bacci also had a good performance up top for the Trojans. Oak Ridge keeper David Item also got into it, making a kick-save earlier in the second half, much like a hockey goalie, to keep Sheldon off the scoreboard. The Huskies eventually scored, but Roger Blum provided the final margin of victory with a goal late in the game, following a shot by Bennett. “I thought we played well,” Barclay said. “We played a simpler game, instead of kicking the ball long over the top. We found the easy balls tonight and were able to finish.” “We got back to the basics tonight,” Reis said. “We did a great job and finished our opportunities which is always important. Instead of playing as individuals, we worked as a team tonight.”