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Placer soccer edges FLC in opener

By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Placer High soccer coach Mark Miller joked that he doesn’t like to have his team practice shooting on goal because it’s too ugly to watch. The Hillmen had plenty of chances to work on their striking Friday afternoon at Railhead Park. Nearly two dozen shots blasted over, to the left, to the right and into the arms of Forest Lake Christian goalkeeper Aaron Andersson. Only Dylan Day’s low line drive in the opening minute of the second half hit the back of the net as Placer posted a 1-0 win in its season opener. The 2008 Placer soccer team struggled offensively and Miller was hoping Friday’s game was not an omen for the rest of the fall. “If we can’t put the biscuit in the basket, it’s going to be a long year,” Miller said. “That’s what hurt us last year. But overall we played pretty well. We’re going to be OK.” Placer’s midfield was impressive, with senior Travis Tidd combining with Day on some beautiful passes. Speedy junior Austin Dunn created several dangerous opportunities up front along with junior Jose Arellano. Seniors Clay Campbell and Mitchell Maddox also played well on the outside. Junior Nick Mitchell anchored a defense that Forest Lake could not figure out. The young Falcons managed just one promising scoring chance, but goalkeeper Nigel Pell pounced on the loose ball in the box to end the threat. After peppering shots at the Forest Lake goal in the first half, Placer broke through 40 seconds after the start of the second half. Dunn played a short pass to Day at the top of the penalty box and the junior buried a low shot in the corner of the net for the game’s only score. Arellano earned a penalty kick later in the second half when he was taken down in the box. But the ensuing kick glanced off the left post and was cleared by the Falcons’ defense. Placer played without senior Cameron McCallister, who was nursing an injured ankle. Miller said McCallister should be back on the field in about a week.