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Trojans tie Bruins 1-1

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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It’s been a slow start in the Delta River League for the Oak Ridge Lady Trojans soccer team (1-1-1) having suffered a late 1-1 draw to visiting Ponderosa (2-0) on Wednesday in El Dorado Hills. It was a warm day in the hills, but almost too hot for Oak Ridge. Ponderosa nearly snuck in a goal in the 78th minute to seal it. Carisa Rivers took lone scoring honors for the Lady Trojans with an assist from freshman Paige Okazaki, who’s now the third starting freshman for coach Henry Reis’s battered squad. Two games into league and the Lady Trojans add frustration to injury with the late free kick score by Ponderosa to tie it. In the 61st minute Ponderosa’s Aubrey Wimmer drilled a free kick across the goal from the right corner of the goalie box past a diving Ashley Pearl and into the side netting. It was a well struck opportunity and displayed a tired Oak Ridge team. “I think both teams were just tired today really,” said Reis. “Defensively, we gave away a lot of free kicks and played with the ball. Our passing wasn’t coming together at times and you could see a fatigue on the field.” Ponderosa began the game aggressive on the ball through the first 10 minutes. Rivers scored in the 18th and from there the half belonged to Oak Ridge, who didn’t allow Ponderosa a shot after the 21st minute. Senior forward Taylor Camin went down on a play in the 27th minute holding her right arm and helped off the field by Reis. At halftime she was escorted away from the field to receive care and Reis said the injury was from landing on her arm when she fell to the ground in midfield. Camin was examined by the Oak Ridge High School trainer, but was unable to speak to her possible injury. As a team Oak Ridge had just one shot through the first 25 minutes – the goal from Rivers. The injury to Camin and an already physical game bred a back-and-forth final 41 minutes. Oak Ridge defenders gave up four significant free kicks, one in the 61st especially hurt. Oak Ridge defenders had a tough time managing the ball in the middle at times and Ponderosa got off six shots in the second half, three on frame and a couple banged around a bit. Ponderosa almost escaped with a win in the final minutes, but the free kick went off the crossbar and lady luck was with the Lady Trojans as the follow went well over the goal. “With as many injuries as we have and as poorly as we played today, we got lucky,” said Reis. “We had four key players that just couldn’t contribute anything today because of injury. This game right here means nothing. We tied a game and lost a game, but it always comes down to the last two or three games of the season anyway.” Seven of Reis’s players competed over the weekend with club teams as part of the Players Development Academy Girls College Showcase. He said those seven players had eight games and didn’t get back until Monday, in which they loss 5-1 to Sheldon – a normal period of four days rest over the weekend. Despite the weekend-heavy tournament for half of the team, the Lady Trojans had previously beat Ponderosa 1-0 at the St. Mary’s Classic one month ago. Reis said his team knew what Ponderosa brought to the match, but he expected a stronger performance. Oak Ridge has another chance at Ponderosa in their second-to-last game of league in about a month. Until then, Monday’s game takes the Lady Trojans to Pleasant Grove.