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Magnifi-cents: Saugus captures CIF title

Saugus wins the first outright CIF girls soccer championship in Santa Clarita Valley history

Posted: March 7, 2009 2:38 a.m.
Updated: March 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Members of the Saugus High girls soccer team celebrate in Downey at Warren High School after winning the CIF-Southern Section Division II championship with a 2-1 win against Harvard-Westlake Friday night.

 
DOWNEY — It is official.

Saugus is now the only school in Santa Clarita Valley history to win an outright CIF-Southern Section Division title in either boys or girls soccer.

The Centurions defeated Harvard-Westlake 2-1 Friday night at Warren High in the CIF-SS Division II finals behind the play of senior captain Erin Ortega and junior Jamie Molacek.

“I knew this team would go all the way,” Molacek said. “The people on this team have so much character and so much drive. I knew it would happen.”

Back in 1999, Hart High tied Woodbridge 1-1 in the final match, earning a share of the title.

“Beautiful,” said Saugus head coach Lisa Rollo when asked to describe the win. “Deserving. These girls worked really hard. They deserve it.”

With the win, the Centurions (20-3-3) will now move on the CIF Regional Tournament with action starting on Tuesday.

“That was the best I’ve ever seen us play,” Ortega said.  “It feels so good and is so rewarding.”

An announcement will be made on Sunday regarding the opponent, time and location, Rollo said.

“Today we really wanted to work on playing our space,” Rollo said. “Pulling the defender toward us. Opening that other person and passing it off to that person that is open.”

The game-winner came in the 47th minute, when Ortega floated a ball into the box from about 20 yards out.

Molacek found herself wide open and placed the header perfectly out of the reach of Wolverines goalkeeper Clara Jaques.

“I was just sitting there,” Molacek said, surprised to find herself so open. “I don’t know what happened. I don’t know where they were.”

The Centurions continued to control possession as they had for most of the game and withstood a final push from the Wolverines (16-5-3) to secure the win.

“Tonight was a war,” said Harvard-Westlake head coach Richard Simms. “I knew it would be. It was two good teams that were going to go at it. They scored two beautiful goals and we scored one. … We play them 10 times, we’d probably split. Tonight they had us.”

Saugus was explosive right out of the gate, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead.

In the third minute, Molacek touched the ball back to Ortega, who spun around and cut the ball out of the air.

The shot roped to the far post and past a diving Jaques.

“I always have an eye on the goal,” Ortega said. “I always know where it is.”

Ortega’s goal set an aggressive tone for the Centurions, who looked to be on the verge of scoring time and time again.

However, a well-placed ball from Harvard-Westlake’s Christine Kanoff to Katie Speidel provided an equalizer in the 16th minute.

Kanoff‘s pass dropped right behind the Saugus defense, allowing Speidel to run on.

One on one with Saugus keeper Bianca Lorenz, Speidel flicked the ball to the right and just inside the post.

The game went into halftime knotted at 1-1.

With the second half came more stellar play from the Centurions, who extended their season by yet another game.

pputignano@the-signal.com

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