Sol bolster playoff chances with win

The Sonoma County Sol men’s soccer team edged the North Coast Tsunami, 1-0, on Friday, in Rohnert Park, setting up a pivotal matchup next weekend against rival Sacramento.

In a tense defensive struggle in which the Sol outshot the Humboldt County-based Tsunami, Sonoma County broke through with less than 15 minutes remaining in the second half.

After a ball was played into the box from the left side, Chris Daly knocked it down, redirecting the ball so that former Sonoma State star Ross Middlemiss could knock it just inside the far post with his left foot.

The Sol (6-3-3) came into Friday’s game trailing the league-leading Sacramento Gold by three points and second-place Bay Area by one point in the Northwest Division of the National Premier Soccer League.

Sacramento and Oakland-based Bay Area play today, which means the Sol, who earned three points with Friday’s win, will be in at least second place heading into its final two games. The top two teams advance to the playoffs.

“If we beat Sacramento, we’re in,” Middlemiss said.

The game against Sacramento is at 7 p.m. June 30 at Rancho Cotate High School. Tickets are $5 for adults, free for children under 18.