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Sandpoint Legends defeat NIC in annual exhibition match

Sports Reporter | September 12, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — The Sandpoint Legends soccer team, a team made up of former soccer stars from Sandpoint, defeated NIC 4-1 in an exhibition match Saturday at War Memorial Field.

Hundreds of fans filled the stadium to cheer on their favorite familiar faces. Sandpoint High School boys soccer coach Tanner French and SHS girls soccer coach Conor Baranski, who are both part of the Legends soccer team, were among the fan favorites on Saturday.

It was a pretty back-and-forth match until Jess Retan scored off a great ball from Konar Skindlov during the 38th minute to put the Legends ahead, 1-0. Sandpoint would score three more unanswered goals in the second half. Tanner Williams scored a goal assisted by Anthony Fox; Dan Anderson, SHS assistant boys soccer coach, scored a goal assisted by Baranski; and Kyle Deeter scored late in the game on an assist from Williams.

NIC’s Ryan Zyska would score during the 90th minute to put the Cardinals on the board.

“Playing in these games is always both exciting and special for me because I grew up attending and being inspired by them as a youth player in Sandpoint,” Anderson said. “Our town has a very rich soccer tradition, and these high-level matches under the lights serve not only as entertainment but as an example of an attainable goal for many of the kids in the crowd.”

Sandpoint Legends members thanked Brad Williams, director of soccer operations of the Sandpoint Soccer Association, for helping the team set up everything regarding the game. The exhibition match, held in conjunction with the Pend Oreille Cup, has now been held for over 10 straight years. The Legends said they are looking forward to the next opportunity to play in front of a home crowd.