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Thunder reach SJS DII semifinals with win at Burbank

By: Staff Report
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Weathering less than desirable field conditions at Burbank High School on Friday, the Rocklin High soccer team scored a 4-1 win in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II soccer tournament. A narrow field with tall grass and difficult footing increased the degree of difficulty on this win for the Thunder, but Rocklin tallied early on a breakaway goal by junior striker Konner Rasmussen just three minutes into the contest. Burbank got the equalizer at the 22-minute mark before the Thunder took a 2-1 lead late in the opening half when Tyler Garrison finished a long Zach Moss throw-in for the go-ahead goal. A large crowd of students turned out to support Burbank and star striker Carlos Perez, but Rocklin used double-team pressure on the slick Perez to cool the Burbank attack. The rough footing allowed Rocklin to push the ball forward with heavy pressure as its transition offense was key to the win. Tyler Garrison found the net again at the 63-minute mark to put some space between the two teams on the scoreboard, and then the Thunder scored the game’s final goal on a Steven Cowan penalty kick with nine minutes remaining to seal the win. The Thunder are looking forward to the all-weather turf at Folsom High School, where they will conclude their season. Rocklin faces Sierra Foothill League foe Oakmont in Wednesday night’s first semifinal with hopes of a trip to Saturday’s final.