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Granite Bay clinches sixth SFL soccer title in a row

By: Brett Ransford
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LOOMIS — There’s usually no love lost when Granite Bay and Del Oro high schools meet in boys soccer, and Thursday night’s match under the lights included eight yellow cards and considerable Sierra Foothill League drama.

Granite Bay stormed the second half with a go-ahead goal by Mathew Fisher in the 61st minute and an insurance marker from Felipe Zegarra in the 66th to defeat the host Golden Eagles 3-1 and clinch the SFL title for the sixth season in a row since rejoining the league in 2006.

The Grizzlies (16-3-1 overall, 8-1 SFL) entered with the SFL in their pockets.

“We came into this game with a lot of energy, and Del Oro scoring (in the first half) provided even more energy,” said Zegarra, who also assisted Jeff Gaebler in the ninth minute.

Said Fisher, “We have momentum, and we feel really good right now.”

Energy and momentum were high for both teams, possibly even favoring Del Oro to start the second half after Andrew Ireland’s equalizer in the 36th on an 18-yard penalty from the top of the box.

But five of the eight yellow cards handed out were to Del Oro. The loss left the Golden Eagles (8-4-1, 4-4-1) in a compromised position. Ireland said it’s a tough spot to be in.

“We have to come up big against Roseville, which we can do. We’ve done it before,” Ireland said.

Del Oro plays host to the Tigers (4-12-2, 2-5-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Del Oro won the first meeting 2-1, but Roseville surprised Granite Bay 1-0 on Oct. 9.

The Eagles are in a three-way tie for second with Nevada Union (5-5-2, 4-4-1) and Woodcreek (8-6-1, 4-4-1), who meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Woodcreek.

Since Del Oro split two matches each with Woodcreek and Nevada Union, the lynchpin is Nevada Union’s record in its final two games.

Granite Bay concludes the SFL at home against Rocklin (2-15-1, 2-6-1), which has lost six matches in a row and hasn’t scored in its last five.

The Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs begin Oct. 30.