EL DORADO HILLS — One half was seconds too long and the other almost too short for host Oak Ridge in its Delta River League opener with Folsom Tuesday. The match between neighboring programs ended in a 1-1 tie.
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Persistence and increased intensity in the final 40 minutes paid off for the Trojans who got the equalizer with minutes to spare. On a set piece from the back, Alec Hester’s flick pass and Zach Legge’s cutback shot into the net denied the Bulldogs boarding the bus with a win.
Legge scored both Oak Ridge’s (4-0-3) goals in its last win at Nevada Union.
Tuesday’s play was even in the first half. On one end, Trojan defenders Noah Bensman, Cameron Perkins, Connor Flynn and Reese Benson guarded keeper Hayes Connor while on the other, Folsom stymied the efforts of Alex Piatak, Justin Bethke and midfielders Cole Cahill, Hunter Tully and Co.
The ‘Dogs tallied 20 seconds before halftime on a follow after initially hitting the crossbar, sending Oak Ridge to the break trailing on the scoreboard.
Thanks to their quicker pace, Troy had opportunities during the second half but failed to make solid contact.
Hester, Legge, Tyler Sarner, Bethke, Piatak, Sean Miller, Benjamin Brazzel, Cahill and others kept up the pressure. Cahill found the crossbar on one attempt; Perkins’ crashing header sailed high on another.
On a Trojan free kick, Sam Miller snuck behind a crowd to gather but was stopped by a recovering Folsom defense.
Connor also had his hands full as the visitors failed to extend on several high-percentage shots on goal. With time dwindling, the Hester-Legge connection rescued Oak Ridge from a looming defeat just minutes away.