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Surprise finalists Oak Ridge, Davis to meet in section soccer

So who gets the blame?

Maybe it’s Oak Ridge’s Connor Hayes and Davis’ Pablo Guarnizo, both goalkeepers.

Or maybe fingers should be pointed at Davis’ Joe Rainer and Tim Baxter or Oak Ridge’s Julian Garcia and Andrew Greer, field players with impeccable timing.

Because of their heroics, there will be no rematch between national powers Jesuit and Granite Bay in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I boys soccer final.

Instead, it will be fifth-seeded Oak Ridge (14-4-1) meeting No. 3 Davis (17-5-0) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in one of four divisional finals at Cosumnes Oaks High School. Three other finals will be held at Stagg of Stockton.

Hayes made 12 saves, Garcia had the game-tying goal in regulation, and Greer had the winning penalty kick as visiting Oak Ridge stunned top-seeded Jesuit 5-4 on PKs after a 1-1 tie through regulation and overtime in Wednesday’s semifinal.

Guarnizo also had some big saves, and Rainer and Baxter scored goals in No. 3 Davis’ 2-1 win at No. 2 Granite Bay in the other semifinal.

Jesuit and Granite Bay were the overwhelming favorites in the top division.

Jesuit (24-2-1) is ranked No. 2 in this week’s TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Fall Fab 50 national rankings, and Granite Bay (19-2-0) is No. 7. In last year’s final, Granite Bay rallied to beat favored Jesuit 2-1 in overtime, 12 months after the Marauders topped the Grizzlies 5-0 for the title.

Neither Oak Ridge nor Davis is ranked in the Fab 50, though the Blue Devils have a strong tradition in boys soccer. On Saturday, they will go for their seventh D-I section title.

Oak Ridge will seek its first win in five trips to the section final, the previous four coming in D-II.

Top-seeded Christian Brothers (17-1-4), ranked 13th nationally, will try to repeat as the D-III champion at noon against No. 3 Oakdale (19-5-3). No. 1 seed Capital Christian (17-3-0) will go for a fourth consecutive section crown in the D-V final against No. 6 Highlands (14-4-0) at 10 a.m.

Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.

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