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The Impression

Erin Ortega helped lead the way as Saugus made Foothill League history

Posted: April 11, 2009 1:05 a.m.
Updated: April 11, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Saugus High School senior Erin Ortega led the Centurions to the CIF-Southern Section Division II championship. She is the 2008-09 All-SCV Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

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Erin Ortega will cast a big shadow for years to come.

After the Centurions’ 3-2 loss to Buchanan of Clovis in the CIF-Southern California Regional Division I first round, head coach Lisa Rollo said they were building a dynasty and that this year’s team started it.

However, this year’s team could not have done it without the senior co-captain.

A leader on and off the field, Ortega posted 19 goals and 15 assists for the Santa Clarita Valley’s first-ever outright CIF-Southern Section Divisional soccer champions.

Whenever her team needed her, she stepped up.

When Saugus traveled to Redlands for its CIF-SS Division II semifinal game against the Terriers, Ortega shrugged off the pressure and knocked home a penalty kick late in the first half.

The Cents went on to win 2-1, earning themselves a date with Harvard-Westlake in the championship game.

Again she stepped up, acrobatically putting the ball in the back of the net in the third minute of the title game on March 6, then assisting on the game-winner in the second half.

More impressively, in both CIF-SS divisional games, Ortega played with a target on her back.

Seemingly magnetic to physicallity, opposing players honed in on her and knocked her every which way.

She never let it bother her. Instead, she let her play push back.

The foundation she has laid for the future of Saugus soccer starts with attitude.

Ask her any question, and inevitably the focus turns to her teammates.

And as one of only four rostered seniors this season, she helped cultivate a winning culture that has the potential to carry over into the coming seasons.

She displayed versatility.

Despite playing center midfield most of her career, she willingly moved to striker so Rollo could get more talent on the field.

When need arose, Ortega shifted back to anchor the middle and distribute to junior Jamie Molacek up top and senior Shannon Suarez out wide.

Soon, she will turn her attention to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she will again prepare to leave her mark.

As for her time with Saugus, the mark has been made, the achievements attained, the shadow cast.

Already the CIF-SS Division II Offensive Player of the Year, Ortega is this season’s All-Santa Clarita Valley Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

pputignano@the-signal.com

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