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Third to none: Saugus reaches championship round

Saugus goes from third place in Foothill League to brink of CIF-Southern Section Division II title

Posted: March 4, 2009 1:51 a.m.
Updated: March 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Saugus' Shasta Fisher (1) vies for the ball with Redlands' Kloey Glass (10) and Hannah Carroll (20) Tuesday during the CIF-Southern Section Division II semifinals in Redlands.

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Saugus girls soccer is now one step away from a championship ring.

The Centurions allowed only one shot on goal Tuesday, defeating Redlands 2-1 at Redlands High and earning themselves a trip to the CIF-Southern Section Division II finals.

“It doesn’t matter what you get in league,” said Saugus head coach Lisa Rollo. “It doesn’t matter what seed you are. It matters how you come out and play every day.”

Awaiting the Centurions (19-3-3) is Harvard-Westlake, the Mission League’s third place finisher, who defeated Yucaipa 2-1 in overtime Tuesday.

An announcement will be made later today regarding the time, date and location of the match, Rollo said.

“It’s really going to come down to who shows up that day,” Rollo said. “I think it is going to be a close game. It is going to be 1-0 regardless who the winner is.”

If Tuesday is any indication, Saugus will certainly be up to the challenge.

Senior captain Erin Ortega and junior midfielder Jamie Molacek each scored as the Centurions put on a dominant performance against a tough Terriers team.

Late in the first half, Saugus’ Shasta Fisher was pulled down in the box, drawing a penalty from the official.

Ortega lined up to take the free kick.

“I just know I have to be calm, collected, cool, you know,” Ortega said. “Just look at the keeper and try to get into her head a little bit, then just place it.”

The ball hit the back of the net without any opposition for the stoppage-time goal.

In the second half, Molacek and teammates Shannon Suarez, Nicole Penick, Brittanie Sakajian, Ysabel Padron and Emily Relles kept Redlands goalkeeper Charlene Roorda guessing.

In the 60th minute, Molacek took the ball and sent a shot far-post through an opening in the defense and past a diving Roorda.

“I saw (the defender) shift to the other side, so I saw the open goal right there,” Molacek said.

Saugus controlled all aspects of the game, preventing Redlands (17-7-4) from getting a shot on goal until the final five minutes when Terriers forward Casey Mendoza slipped through the defense and earned a one-on-one with goalkeeper Bianca Lorenz.

Lorenz came off her line and lunged for the ball, knocking it wide.

However, the referee awarded the Terriers a penalty kick, stating that Lorenz came in with her cleats up.

Redlands midfielder Megan Borman drove the ball past Lorenz, finally getting her team on the board.

The Centurions then withstood a barrage of flying bodies during the six-minute stoppage time.

“I was surprised, but I think my team did well,” Rollo said of Redlands’ aggressive play. “(Redlands) got very physical and (we) didn’t stoop to that level.”

But Terriers head coach Jessica Classen saw it differently.

“I coach for a reason,” Classen said. “I don’t officiate for a reason. I don’t want to put anything on the officials, but I wish they would have let the girls play a little bit more.”

Knocked this way and that, the Saugus back line of senior Fisher, Relles, Heather Pilch and Jillian Allen held steady, allowing few opportunities.

“I think we would have gotten through their defense, but we got into playing kickball with them a little bit,” Classen said. “When we get into playing kickball with another team, that doesn’t suit us.”

The Foothill League’s third place team gets back to work today as it prepares for Harvard-Westlake.

Molacek believes her team will be ready.

“We just have so much passion and drive,” she said. “Everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to go all the way. We’re out to win the whole thing.”

pputignano@the-signal.com

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