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Hart starts fast at Showcase

Valencia, Canyon, G.V., Saugus also playing in tourney

Posted: December 27, 2013 10:51 p.m.
Updated: December 27, 2013 10:51 p.m.

Hart's Derek Waldeck (19) takes the ball toward the goal against Saugus defender Brayan Velazquez at Reese Field on Friday.

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The Hart Indians boys soccer team saved its best for first on Friday morning at The Master’s College, and there was little the Saugus Centurions could do about it.

After scoring three goals in the first half, Hart won 3-1 over their rivals in a non-league match during the first day of action at the Hart Soccer Showcase.

Hart later beat Centennial 3-0 to seal a spot in today’s semifinals.

“We were very strong from the start. We took chances early and moved very well without the ball,” said Hart assistant coach Dan Palmer. “It’s always encouraging to come out and beat a familiar opponent that you’ll see again, even if it doesn’t necessarily guarantee any results once the league season starts.”

As Palmer touched on, the Indians (4-1-2) came out with a purpose on Friday. Hart had overwhelming control of possession in the first half, and virtually cut the field in half with the amount of time it spent in Saugus territory.

Sophomore midfielder Derek Waldeck started things off for Hart in the ninth minute, when he took a feed from teammate Jeysen Rodriguez and put it into the back of the net to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.

That was just the beginning for Waldeck, who along with teammate David White controlled the pace of the contest.

“We could tell that they were some of Hart’s strongest players,” said Saugus senior goalkeeper Noah Maynard. “When we face them again in league we will have to watch out for those guys because they seemed to be a big part of Hart’s attack.”

After White found Rodriguez for the game’s second goal in the 21st minute, the senior scored one for himself in the 33rd minute when teammate Tad Hawthorne found him on a 3-on-1 opportunity.

The Indians led 3-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Hart again pressed the issue on offense, but Saugus (4-5-0) was able to hold steady.

For the majority of the second half things were relatively quiet — until the game’s final 15 minutes.

In the 56th minute, Hart defender Christopher Marton sent a cross from the left wing into the box for teammate Andrew Nielsen.

Nielsen headed the ball perfectly, but Maynard made a tremendous save on the ball.

Just a minute later, Saugus junior forward Trevor Mangan booted a rocket from 25 yards out that found the back of the net to put the Centurions on the board.

On Hart’s ensuing offensive attack, Indians junior midfielder Victor Guillen beat Maynard but not the crossbar, and the game eventually ended with a final score of 3-1.

“In the second half that header that was saved was a great play,” Waldeck said. “We have started off a little slow in games this year. Nice to come out and be as ready to go as we were this morning.”

After defeating Saugus in its first game of the day, the Indians went on to defeat Centennial in their second leg of action. White was again a factor, scoring a goal off a cross from teammate Oscar Ocampo, who also scored a goal of his own. Rounding out scoring for the Indians was Jeysen Rodriguez, who scored off a rebound from a Brayon Rodriguez free kick.

In Saugus’ second game of the day, it beat Van Nuys 2-0 thanks to goals from Liam Sikich and Ricky Corona.

Hart faces Van Nuys today at 8 a.m. and will play in the semifinals at 2 p.m. Saugus faces Centennial at 9:30 a.m.

Notes: Also playing at the Showcase tournament were local teams Valencia, Canyon and Golden Valley.

Canyon won its first contest of the day against San Fernando by a score of 4-2 and followed with a 2-0 loss to Cleveland to finish the day 1-1.

Canyon will have to beat Knight at 8 a.m. today for a chance to win its pool and advance to the semifinals later in the day.

Leading the way for the Cowboys was Aram Kazarian, who tallied a hat trick. Kazarian was joined by Elmer Garcia, who scored a goal on a penalty shot.

Golden Valley will also have a chance to win its pool after finishing 1-1 on Friday. Francisco Perez, Michael Richardson, Justin Dulay and Ricardo Malaquias all scored in Golden Valley’s 4-0 win over Arleta. Later in the day, the Grizzlies lost 1-0 to Sylmar.

Golden Valley will need a win against Dos Pueblos at 9:30 a.m. today to advance.

Valencia lost 2-0 to Crescenta Valley and tied 0-0 with Panorama City. Today, Valencia faces Granada Hills at 8 a.m.

ernie@signalscv.com

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