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CIF champs hire replacement

Saugus High School hires club soccer coach Natalie Helgeson to lead its girls varsity soccer program

Posted: July 28, 2009 10:13 p.m.
Updated: July 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.
They’re her words.

The pressure is on.”

Natalie Helgeson, a local club soccer coach, has been hired as Saugus High’s new girls varsity soccer coach, replacing Lisa Rollo who led the Centurions to a CIF-Southern Section Division II title in 2009.

“My job is to continue the tradition,” Helgeson said. “The pressure is definitely on. I can’t walk in here and think I’ll have a winning program. My job is to go in there and push them. I’d be silly to think I can go in there and do no work. It will take a lot of work.”

Saugus finished a fluky third place in the Foothill League in 2009, a mere one point from tying for a title.

The Centurions, though, went on a march through the Division II playoffs, ultimately beating Harvard-Westlake 2-1 on March 7.

Rollo, though, resigned May 26 so she could relocate to the San Diego area.

Helgeson, who coached local club teams Santa Clarita United and Santa Clarita Magic, was one of nine applicants to replace Rollo.

“It was hard losing Lisa ... but we feel we have someone that will keep us at the competitive level we were last year and maybe even take us beyond that,” said Saugus High athletic director Kevin Miner.

Helgeson played soccer at University of the Pacific and was the 1998 Big West Conference Player of the Year.

The former forward said she has an offensive-minded philosophy but will adapt her coaching based on the Centurions’ personnel.

Helgeson is a Ventura High graduate and attended middle school in Ventura with canyon high head football coach Chris Varner.

She is a third-grade teacher at Valley View Elementary School.


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