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For Saugus, pure symmetry between veterans and new players

Upperclassmen demonstrate bond with youngsters in championship tilt

Posted: March 7, 2009 2:36 a.m.
Updated: March 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
DOWNEY — Call it symbolic.

Senior Erin Ortega lobbed a pass to junior Jamie Molacek in the 47th minute of Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division II title game.

Molacek headed the ball home for the deciding goal to give the Centurions the first outright soccer championship in the history of the Santa Clarita Valley in a play that displayed the Saugus girls soccer passing of the torch at the same time as the current Centurions’ flame burned its brightest.

The goal broke a 1-1 tie in Saugus’ 2-1 title win over Harvard-Westlake (16-5-3), but it also showed the chemistry that has developed between the Saugus (20-3-3) seniors and underclassmen.

“When I think about this senior class, I’ll always remember their intensity, passion and character,” said Saugus head coach Lisa Rollo. “They are all good kids, and we’ll all miss them when this is all over, but I’m glad to see they are all going on to college when we’re done.”

The time to think about college was put on hold Friday when the Cents secured a spot in the CIF SoCal Regional Soccer Championship state tournament.

For Ortega, it was the completion of a quest she started four years ago.

“We’ve all learned to love each other,” Ortega said. “This whole team is really close so it’s going to be sad when it’s over, but it’s so exhilarating that we are moving.”

The Centurions scored their first goal of the game in the fourth when Molacek flicked a pass to Ortega, which the senior captain knocked home so the second goal of the game was a symmetrical way for Saugus to earn its rings.

“Erin was able to get that early goal for us, and the pass she gave me on my goal was just perfect,” Molacek said. “Our seniors are great, and I know they can do anything they want to do.”

As the 2008-’09 season progressed the bond between seniors and underclassmen developed. The Centurions used a third place finish in the Foothill League as a motivating factor to improve.

“Where we finished the regular season was disappointing, but our girls grew because of it,” Rollo said. “We brought in nine new players this year so we had to figure out where everyone fit. Next year we will only have four spots to fill so we could be back at this level.”

Molacek and junior goal keeper Bianca Lorenz head the current underclassmen that will have the opportunity to defend Saugus’ crown.

“Everyone has meant a lot to this team, and our underclassmen have brought a lot to this team,” Ortega said. “It’s been great getting to play with them, and they have a lot to look forward to beyond just this season.”

For Rollo, the win completes a wild ride to the title that saw the Cents win its last four games by one goal.

“This team was kind of a blank canvas when the year started,” Rollo said. “It took time for us to get everything working like we have it, but with so many great players coming back next year it’s comforting to think not just about this season, but the next one too.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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