Brody Whites header sparks the teams second-half rally.

by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandys Will Ramstad reaches for a ball.The Sandy boys’ soccer team finished strong last Tuesday, but it was not enough to overtake Forest Grove. The class 6A Vikings held off Sandy’s late comeback and survived for a 4-3 win.

The Pioneers trailed Forest Grove by three goals with 25 minutes remaining, but they didn’t go down quietly. They continued to play with urgency and scored twice late in the match to pull within one goal.

The first of the two second-half goals came on a throw-in from Kaden Walker. Walker tossed it up for Brody White who headed the ball off a defender and into the net. Sandy inched closer later on when it had a free kick near the corner. The Pioneers approached it as if it had been a corner kick and White arched it right at the goalkeeper. A herd of Sandy players rose to knock it in while the Vikings vied to clear it. Neither team succeeded initially, but when the goalie couldn’t secure it, Sandy’s Anthony Krening popped it in.

“I thought we played with a lot of enthusiasm and effort,” Sandy coach Garet Luebbert said.

Sandy’s late heroics couldn’t atone for a shaky stretch early in the second half which put the Pioneers in a deep hole. Forest Grove scored just 30 seconds into the half, and three times total, in the first 14 minutes of the period to turn what was a 1-1 halftime tie into a 4-1 spread.

The Pioneers did not stumble in the match due to a lack of opportunities. Throughout the contest, but especially in the first half, they had at least as many chances around the net as Forest Grove, and they probably had more. Sandy did convert one of those first-half tries – a header by Tony Olmos on a pass from White – into a goal, but the fruitless trips down the field added up.

The Pioneers’ late surge displayed their adjustments and improvement, but Forest Grove figured things out a bit sooner and did so more effectively.

“Finishing was definitely the difference in the game,” Luebbert said. “Despite another tough loss, the kids continue to work hard and have shown a lot of heart.”

Sandy dropped to 0-5 with the defeat.

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