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Saugus passed up in playoffs

Posted: February 18, 2014 10:13 p.m.
Updated: February 18, 2014 10:13 p.m.
 

Culver City boys soccer kept coming for Saugus on Tuesday, and in the end, the Ocean League’s third-place team passed the Centurions.

Saugus lost 2-1 on Tuesday to the Centaurs in Culver City in the wild-card round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IV playoffs.

“They put pressure on us. Once we had the lead, they were bringing everybody,” said Saugus head coach Seth Groller.

Saugus (10-11-3) had few opportunities early but made the most of one of its shots on goal as junior Caleb Vanderhorst scored 30 minutes into the game off an assist from Trevor Mangan.

The Centurions held that lead for nearly a half hour of play before the Centaurs (12-9-2) made good on a second-half corner kick and tied the score at 1-1.

The score remained tied and the game was seemingly headed toward a shootout until with three minutes to play in the second overtime Culver City’s Ryan Armstrong scored the game-winning goal.

“It was a hard-fought game. They definitely outshot us and had time of possession most of the game,” Groller said. “But we were fighting till the very end. I was hoping to get to PKs. We felt that would be our best opportunity, but didn’t quite make it there.”

Saugus, the Foothill League’s fourth-place team, was without leading scorer Liam Sikich on Tuesday. Sikich had to sit out because he received a red card in the Centurions’ regular season finale 4-2 win last Thursday.

It was a must-win for the Cents’ playoff hopes.

It also capped off a unique league season for Saugus in which it was outscored by Hart, Canyon and Golden Valley by a combined 14-0 in the first round of league play, then tied Hart and Canyon and beat Golden Valley in the second half.

“We took our licks but were a team that learned our lesson and played hard and got some results,” Groller said.

Saugus will lose senior captain and keeper Noah Maynard and senior captain Colin Maher to graduation as well as defenseman Steven Reano.

All three played big on Tuesday, Groller said.

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