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Win helps Hart soccer keep pace

Posted: February 4, 2014 9:45 p.m.
Updated: February 4, 2014 9:45 p.m.

Hart's Sophia Cortes runs the ball down the field past Saugus's Yulissa Gonzalez at Hart High School on Tuesday.

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A streak that began with exuberance had quickly turned to frustration by the time the Hart Indians girls soccer team welcomed the Saugus Centurions on Tuesday afternoon.

Three straight ties had the Indians in desperate need of three points to keep pace near the top of the Foothill League.

Fortunately for Hart, the Indians returned to their high-scoring ways in a 4-1 victory.

On Jan. 24, the Indians were all smiles when Danielle Spickard scored the late, game-tying goal against Valencia to leave the Indians in a first-place tie.

But by the time Hart tied its third-straight game last Friday, this time against fourth-place West Ranch, it left the Indians wondering where the goals had gone.

On Tuesday, it was Destinney Duron who answered that question emphatically.

The senior moved back to a defensive position due to injuries throughout the team. But that didn’t stop her from twice finding the back of the net.

“We struggled to score (the last three games),” said Hart head coach Guilherme Mitrovich. “But we were creating chances. Today, we were more effective. We definitely wanted to get back in the scoring streak.”

Duron started the scoring six minutes in, taking a corner from All CIF-Southern Section midfielder Sophie Cortes, and sending it past Saugus goalkeeper Maddie Hebert to tie the score at 1-1 early on.

Midway through the first half, Laura Flores gave Hart the eventual game winner off a ricochet in the box.

Saugus continued to send the ball over the top to its speedy forwards, led by Avery Schulhofer.

But outside of an early goal in the game’s opening minutes, Hart’s defensive backline was ready for the Saugus attack.

“We knew before the game they were going to do that,” Mitrovich said. “They have two very fast forwards. The idea is we would prevent that ball from being sent.”

That strategy worked well, especially in the second half, where most of the scoring chances came from a Hart team that looked excited to finally be taking advantage of its opportunities.

Holding onto a 2-1 lead, Duron took a pass from Cortes and notched her second goal of the game on a shot from 30 yards out that went over Hebert’s head and into the back of the net for a 3-1 lead.

“(After) the past three games, we knew we had no choice but to win,” Duron said. “It gave us more motivation to go after goal.”

Cortes would get on the board herself in the game’s waning minutes, giving Hart the 4-1 lead on a penalty kick.

Notes: In other Foothill League action, Canyon narrowly defeated West Ranch 1-0 behind a 25th minute goal from Cowboys midfielder Mari Kneisel. Valencia had little trouble in an 8-1 victory over Golden Valley, and now the Vikings and Cowboys will face each other in a matchup between the league’s top two teams on Friday.

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