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Foothill girls soccer roundup: Vikings avoid letdown

Hart and Canyon also win league openers

Posted: January 14, 2014 9:26 p.m.
Updated: January 14, 2014 9:26 p.m.

Valencia's Bailey Reid, left, outruns Saugus' Kaitlyn Benivedez to score the winning goal for Valencia in the final minutes of the game at Valencia on Tuesday.

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As soon as the final whistle blew, Valencia goalkeeper Nicole Joseph walked up to her teammates and simply repeated, “I’m sorry.”

Her teammates weren’t having any of it.

Joseph was upset over allowing two goals, but her save in the final minutes, combined with two late goals off the foot of Bailey Reid gave the Vikings girls soccer team a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over Saugus that had the rest of the team beaming with joy.

Tied at 2-2 with just over two minutes to play, Sara Silvestro found Reid alone at the top of the 18-yard box as Saugus goalkeeper Maddie Hebert came charging out.

Reid managed to get the ball over Hebert to give the Vikings the 3-2 lead.

It was her second dramatic goal in 10 minutes of action, as she provided the equalizer on a goal to the upper-right corner off an assist from Becca Harrison with 12 minutes to play.

“I’m speechless,” Reid said afterward. “I’m just ecstatic. We’ve been waiting for league, it’s finally here, and this is a great way to start our season.”

Late in the match, though, it looked like the defending Foothill League champions were about to fall to a Saugus team many have overlooked.

Down 1-0, the Centurions rebounded with back-to-back goals from Avery Schulhofer, who outran her defender up the left side and tied the score at 1-1 from 10-yards out.

Schulhofer gave the Centurions the 2-1 lead early in the second half when she beat Joseph to a ball near the top of the box and poked it through.

“I think (Valencia) was shell shocked from the start of the game,” said Saugus head coach Natalie Helgeson. “I don’t think they took us seriously. We can play with anyone.”

Saugus had its chances in the closing minutes, the best of which came when Katelyn Benavidez maneuvered into the 6-yard box. But she was met by Joseph for the game’s final save.

Still, it was Joseph who accepted responsibility for Valencia’s scare.

“That was not my best performance,” Joseph said. “I apologized because I want to contribute 100 percent and having that, in my opinion, one of my worst performances, was hard.”

It was also a hard loss for Saugus to stomach, after coming so close to a statement victory right off the bat.

“It’s a heartbreaker,” Helgeson said. “We’ve been on the flip side, that’s how soccer goes. (My players) were crying, but they came together as a team and lifted each other up because they knew they deserved that win. They understand they can beat them next time.”

And the Vikings are well aware, as well, that this one could have just as easily ended with a different result.

“They talk about every team, and say Saugus isn’t that good,” Joseph said of public perception of the league. “We just definitely learned from this game. We know we can’t come into this thinking ‘They’re just any team.’ “We have to come into every game as a big rivalry.”

Hart 5, West Ranch 1

The Indians may have the Foothill League’s equivalent of a ‘Big 3’ in Sophia Cortes, Jenny Chavez and Destinney Duron, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about the other eight players on the field.

West Ranch found that out the hard way, as Laura Flores put Hart on the board in the first 10 minutes, and freshman Kassandra Matthews followed up a saved shot with a goal to give Hart a 3-1 cushion.

Laura Sega made it 4-1 with a left-to-right strike to the upper right corner with 32 minutes left in the game.

Of course, the big guns had their say to.

After West Ranch gained momentum by tying things up at 1-1 on a penalty kick by Nicolette Marinello with 15 minutes left in the first half, Duron brought the ball down the left side and scored on a shot that deflected off the West Ranch backline and up and over Wildcats’ goalkeeper Set Motamedi.

“We didn’t start the game the way we wanted,” said Hart head coach Guilherme Mitrovich. “It took us a little long to settle things down. The second goal from Destinney was really big and then the third came.”

For the Wildcats, it was a disappointing result, as they executed their defensive game plan on Hart’s top players for portions of the match, but struggled to create scoring opportunities of their own or stop the Indians’ supporting cast.

And when Hart opened up the flood gates, they seemed to never close.

“Momentum is a funny thing,” said West Ranch head coach Jared White. “If you lose it and they get it, it’s hard to stop. When they get their foot on the gas like that it’s hard to get it back.”

Canyon 5, Golden Valley 0

The Grizzlies entered Tuesday’s match with the mindset that they could make a big statement in the Foothill League with a win.

The Cowboys, though, had other plans.

Freshman Alyssa Aguilar made her mark in her first Foothill League contest, posting two first-half goals off assists from senior Mari Kneisel to put Canyon ahead 2-0 in the first half.

Aguilar would complete the hat trick with a goal in the second half.

“As nervous as she was before the game, we were all laughing at her afterward,” said Canyon head coach Derek Rusk. “She just wants to do well. I think it’s natural for a freshman to be nervous for her first varsity league game.”

Kneisel would break through for a goal of her own in the second half, as would fellow senior Brooke Moore.

Returning All-SCV first-team goalkeeper Meghan Kennedy, who returned from injury last week, started the game and played the first half.

“Playing in that game with wind the way it was, I don’t think we played as well as we could have,” Rusk said. “The score might look like it, but we just try to go out and play our game the best we could and that’s step number one.”


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