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Centurions Make the Jump

Posted: January 30, 2008 3:36 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2008 2:02 a.m.
 
The importance of Tuesday's road game against Canyon was not lost on the Saugus girls soccer team.

"It meant our entire season because if we win we're in first and if we lose, we have to work way harder to get back to where we need to be," said Centurions midfielder Jamie Molacek.
The sophomore notched an assist and a goal in the first half, leading to a 3-1 win over the Cowboys, which along with a Hart loss to Valencia, put Saugus into a tie with Canyon atop the Foothill League standings.
Tuesday marked the third game of the year between the two teams, with the Centurions winning all three. The teams met before league in the semifinals of the Buena tournament over winter break.
The Centurions (14-2-3, 4-1-1) struggled to score at the start of league, but have now netted nine goals in their last three league contests.
Head coach Lisa Rollo said Molacek has been a huge reason for that production.
"She's been the motor the last two games," Rollo said. "She has a fire under her booty and everyone's catching it."
Molacek assisted the first Saugus goal of the game, bringing down a throw in, turning, and crossing the ball into the box. CSUN commit Brielle Slepicoff ran to the ball and fired it past Cowboys first-half goalkeeper Kristin Grunhold.
It seemed to knock the wind out of Canyon (14-5-3, 4-2-1), which had three chances from inside the penalty box within the first five minutes of the game, but no one could finish.
Saugus quickly gave the Cowboys an even deeper hole to climb out of, when six minutes after the first goal, the Centurions were awarded a free kick from 25 yards out. Molacek buried the shot into the opposite corner for a 2-0 lead.
"I just find that space that no one's in and I just go," Molacek said.
The Centurions took that two-goal advantage into halftime, but Canyon cut that lead in half with a goal in the 58th minute.
Jessica Tondreau took a free kick near the end line and just outside of the 18-yard box, and after it jumbled around inside the penalty area, sweeper Milan Cabrera put it in past Saugus goalkeeper Marina Constantinou.
The goal was the first the Saugus defense had given up since Jan. 8, when the Centurions lost 3-1 to Hart, a span of four games without surrendering a goal.
It looked like the Cowboys were poised to take the momentum after cutting the lead to 2-1.
"They say 2-0 is the easiest lead to come back from and the easiest lead to lose," said Canyon head coach Keeli Paden. "Once we had one I thought OK, we've got this."
It didn't come together for Canyon.
Instead, in the 70th minute, Erin Ortega knocked home the insurance goal on a penalty kick past Canyon's second-half goalkeeper Alex Krall.
In a Foothill League where four teams still have a chance to win it, Saugus has the inside track on the league championship ... for now.
"I just told my girls that it's a bittersweet moment," Rollo said. "We're in first but we have to do a lot to keep it. We do not think we own league, that's for sure."
Notes: In the 35th minute, Katie Russ of Canyon received a yellow card for a foul, and then received a second yellow for her actions following the first card. It is treated like a red card, and Russ was ejected from the game and will not be able to play Friday on the road against West Ranch. In stoppage time, Courtney Belsheim also received a yellow card for the Cowboys.


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