FLC advances D-VII championship after topping Sac Country Day
The Falcons continued their flight deep into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII boys soccer playoffs Wednesday, beating No. 5 seed Sacramento Country Day 3-1 and grabbing a perch in Saturday’s championship game.
“We’re excited,” Forest Lake Christian head coach Steve Koch said. “I think we have a great chance. This was our goal from the beginning — to win sections — and we have been plotting along the way, and our boys believed the whole time, and whoever we play, we better bring it because they are going to be a strong team.”
The No. 1 seed Falcons (16-5-1) will face No. 2 seed Faith Christian (17-6-1), which earned its spot in the final with a shootout victory over Ripon Christian.
“They are a tough team, and they can put the ball in the net,” Steve Koch said. “We will have to bring our best game.”
In Wednesday’s contest with the Sac Country Day Cavaliers, the Falcons didn’t wait long to start netting goals.
In the 16th minute, FLC’s senior captain, Hunter Seman, fired a free kick from just outside the goalie box which ricocheted off a Cavalier player right to FLC’s Roman Makovey who promptly booted it in for a 1-0 lead. It was Makovey’s second goal of the postseason and seventh overall. Seman would finish with two assists and now has three in the postseason.
The Falcons really started pouring on the pressure after that, getting near makes in the 23rd and 24th minutes. FLC started cashing in soon after with a goals in the 25th and 26th minutes.
Logan Ray, FLC’s leading scorer, shot a cross over the pack that had congregated in front of the net and right to Scott Gauthier, who fielded the pass nicely and put it in for a 2-0 edge.
A minute later, Ray took a free kick from just inside the midfield line, lofting the ball long and high through the air. When the ball began its descent, it found its way over the goalie’s hands and into the net.
It was Ray’s second goal of the postseason and 21st of the year.
The Falcons kept the pressure on Sac Country Day throughout the first half, out-shooting the Cavaliers 9-2 in the half and 15-6 overall.
The Falcons’ defense was strong, as it has been all season, allowing just one late goal, coming in the 63rd minute.
The FLC defense was led by Daniel Cuneo (nine steals), Sean Kadera (eight steals), Owen Swinney (eight steals) and Daniel Marriot (five steals).
“I liked how we played in the first half, the second half not so much,” Koch said. “I thought we didn’t keep attacking, and when we attack, we possess the ball. We had some defensive softening in the second half that I was not comfortable with at all.”
Koch would go on to say that the defense did tighten after the Cavaliers scored but if they are to be section champs, it will take a strong effort for the full 80 minutes.
Forest Lake Christian is just one win away from completing a one-year transformation that has taken it from the Central Valley California League cellar to the pinnacle of Division VII.
FLC will face Faith Christian (Yuba City) Saturday at a time and place still to be determined.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
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