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Grimm Reaps Title for Thousand Oaks


VENTURA — Dan Grimm's appearance was not in keeping with his name Saturday after the imposing goalkeeper backstopped Thousand Oaks High to a shootout victory over Buena in the championship game of the Buena boys' soccer tournament.

After helping the Lancers forge a scoreless tie through 80 minutes of regulation play, the 6-foot-4 Grimm dived to smother Buena's penalty shots in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds of the shootout and give Thousand Oaks a 5-4 victory.

After his third shootout save, Grimm leaped to his feet with a broad grin and was mobbed by his teammates.

"He did exactly what was expected of him and more," Thousand Oaks Coach Mark Tietjen said. "He saved the game for us at least once [during field play] and you saw what those saves [in the shootout] meant."

If not for its shootout showing, Thousand Oaks (7-2-1) would have deserved to lose, for Buena (7-1-2) controlled play for much of the game and had the better scoring chances.

"It was an entertaining game," Buena Coach Sean Roche said. "I don't think anyone was bored. But we're young and we were tired and we let the fatigue cause some mistakes."

Thousand Oaks used runs by midfielder John Krill and strong play by freshman stopper David McCoy to keep play moving from end to end in the first half.

But as the second half wore on, the Lancers increasingly found themselves under siege. Luckily, Grimm felt right at home.

"I've been in a lot of spots like that the last five years," he said. "Call it training or call it experience, but I was used to it."

Grimm held the fort by making six saves. But the Lancers struggled to advance the ball into Buena territory.

The Bulldogs were quicker to the ball and their upfield push caused Thousand Oaks to commit players to defense, leaving the Lancer attack short-handed.

Despite its attacking scheme, Buena came up empty near the Thousand Oaks goal.

"We go forward well but we need to finish," Roche said. "Our attack dies off and in that I'm disappointed."

The first six shooters in the shootout--Ryan Kloch, Chris Jack and Jeremy Terrell of Thousand Oaks and Ariel Hurtado, Super Ramirez and Carlos Sanchez of Buena--all scored.

But in the next three rounds, only Brad Workman and Krill of Buena found the net, leaving the teams deadlocked, 4-4.

Luis Sanchez of Buena set himself up for embarrassment in the fifth round by walking to the penalty stripe with a pronounced swagger and dramatically turning up the collar of his jersey shortly before Grimm blocked his shot.

In the final round, defender Kelly O'Brien scored for the Lancers, setting up Grimm's decisive save.

Thousand Oaks, which played four games in two days, plays defending Marmonte League champion Royal on Monday. Both teams are 2-0 in league play. The Lancers' hectic eight-day stretch concludes with league games against Camarillo and Simi Valley, both playoff participants last season.

Thousand Oaks has not finished higher than fourth in league play since 1993. The top three teams earn automatic postseason berths.

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