An undefeated Granite Bay team might not have been Oak Ridge’s varsity girls’ soccer coach Rino Chimienti’s first choice of opponent to open the Sierra Foothill League season on Friday, but in the end the Trojans came out on the winning side of a 3-2 score.
Oak Ridge’s varsity girls’ team (1-0 in league, 5-1-1 overall) didn’t play well early, but Alyssa Carranza’s goal with about 15 minutes to play in the first half gave the team a 1-0 lead and served to wake the team up a bit. Chimienti would be the first to admit that his team was lucky to be leading at halftime.
The Grizzlies (0-1 in league, 3-1-2 overall) tied the game in the opening two minutes of the second half with a goal and the game was officially on. By this point, however, the Trojans were playing better soccer and upped their game, as the Grizzlies tried to gain momentum.
About the midpoint of the second half, it was the Trojans who took a 2-1 lead, as Jessica Polson outraced a Grizzly defender to the ball down the left side and crossed the ball toward the goalmouth. Oak Ridge’s Grace Goins beat another Granite Bay defender to the ball just in front of the goal line to tap the ball into the goal for the 2-1 lead.
Later, Oak Ridge center back Sophia Barden scored the team’s final goal off a header on a corner kick, and the Trojans led comfortably, 3-1. The Grizzlies, however, managed a goal with about six minutes to play that tightened the score, but that’s the way the game ended.
“The first 15-20 minutes Granite Bay was fired up, and we came out flat,” Chimienti said. “Sometimes you just have to find a way to get a result. Once we settled down, we began creating chances. So far this season, this team has shown its resilience. When we get into a hole, we have found a way to get out of it. We took over in the second half and created a lot of chances, but we’ve got to find a way to start off on the right foot. We can’t expect to win in the SFL if we come out flat with no energy.”
Oak Ridge plays host to Del Oro on Wednesday and to Whitney on Friday. According to MaxPreps, Wednesday’s game is at 6 p.m. and Friday’s game begins at 7 p.m.