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The Spoilers Strike Again

Posted: February 1, 2008 5:44 a.m.
Updated: April 3, 2008 2:02 a.m.

West Ranch freshman Amanda Dailor, left, slides to kick the ball away from Valencia's Makayla Hambek (7) in the first half Thursday at West Ranch High. The Wildcats topped the Vikings 2-0 for their third league win of the year.

 
The Valencia girls soccer team used to love West Ranch.

The Vikings, after all, reached the playoffs last season because - and only because - the Wildcats pulled off a last-day-of-the-season tie against Saugus.
Now Valencia's not all that big of a fan. The Wildcats played the spoiler role once again, this time against the Vikings with a 2-0 win Thursday at West Ranch High.
The Vikings having pulled off a 3-0 win over Hart, the No. 2 ranked team in CIF-Southern Section Division II just two days earlier, couldn't beat the league's fifth-place team. Now the pre-league favorites could be a loss today against first-place Saugus away from possibly not reaching the postseason.
"I guess we have that reputation now," said West Ranch's Seana Fenske, who scored both of West Ranch's goals in the first half. "We're the spoilers. We're keeping that tradition going."
Fenske made Thursday's version possible.
Her two first-half scores provided a cushion the Vikings were never able to come close to overcoming.
West Ranch (8-6-2, 3-4-0) led for 73 of 80 minutes.
The senior broke free for a breakaway in the seventh minute, beating Valencia High goalkeeper Jessica Change on a one-on-one play. She then scored again in the 25th minute.
Weaving between a pair of Viking defenders to the left of the goal, she stopped on a dime, then put a left-footed blast past a diving Change for her second score.
"I just tried to calm myself down," Fenske said of her first score. "When you panic, that's when you shank it."
She didn't get much of a shot for a hat trick.
Fenske missed most of the second half with back pain . She said she's had back issues for much of the season.
"They found my sore spot," she said.
In turn, her and the Wildcats' found Valencia's.
With a top-three spot in the standings required for playoffs, the Vikings (13-2-3, 3-2-2) are in fourth place.
Instead of playing for a chance at the No. 1 spot in league today against Saugus, their fight is for survival.
"We kind of went from the highest highs to the lowest lows in just two days," said Valencia High head coach Sean O'Connell. "We were in a position to take over the first place spot heading into tomorrow's games and now suddenly this loss puts us in a really bad position."
Despite three first-half corner kicks and controlling most of the first-half possession, the Vikings were never able to mount much of an offensive counter attack.
It was not only a big turnaround from Tuesday's win over Hart, but from a 2-0 win over West Ranch earlier this season. For the Wildcats, it's their first league victory over a team other than last-place Golden Valley.
They'll look to turn the trick again today with a game against Canyon, a team tied with Saugus for first place.
"We're a good team," said West Ranch head coach Tania Eberle. "But it's been a really tough season. This is an awesome win for us to get and turn things around."


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