Tuesday’s annual soccer match between Ponderosa and host El Dorado for the rights to the Gold Boot plaque was pretty even with one exception: Trevor Swartz.
The Bruin junior was the difference, scoring four goals to lead Ponderosa past the Cougars 4-1.
Swartz, back in the fold after a switch of club teams allowed him to resume his prep career, tallied twice in each half. His second score and eventual game-winner was the back-breaker as he scored just ticks away from the halftime whistle. Swartz’ teammates constantly found him in the middle as part of the offense.
“We have a lot of good midfield presence with Cameron Spencer, Spencer DeVetter and Keenan Akers — a good combination up there,” Swartz said. “We came out here wanting to win … like we always do … but being a rivalry game this is bigger.”
El Dorado was on the defensive for most of the opening 40 minutes as Swartz and Co. pressured. Cougars Tyler Rossi, Aaron Line, Shea Jamrowski, Christian Fitzgerald and Isaac Bugbee had their hands full and held the Bruins with the exception of Swartz.
“Trevor’s a scoring machine. I thought we had a good possession game tonight and our midfield buildup did well in creating chances. As long as he (Swartz) gets a few opportunities each match we’ll score,” Ponderosa coach Greg Spangler said.
El Dorado survived Matthew Culver’s header off the right post late in the first half but trailed 3-0 in the second before reaching the scoreboard. Brandon Eldridge’s sheer hustle on a Bruin play-back resulted in a foul and penalty kick to which Eldridge rammed home.
The Cougars pressed to get back in it but Ponderosa’s back line met the challenge. El Dorado put a late shot on goal after Gabe Hurwitt-Bugbee-Eldridge touches but the Bruins made the stop.
“After losing 12 players to graduation we’re in transition for sure,” Cougar coach Joe Champion said. “Hopefully we can be competitive but tonight was a test for us. I told the boys to keep him (Swartz) on his right foot but all he did was score four, high-level goals left-footed.”
Ponderosa also won the JV match by a 4-1 score.