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Cardinals have the numbers

A lot has happened for SCCS boys soccer in a matter of two weeks

Posted: December 17, 2009 10:35 p.m.
Updated: December 18, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Santa Clarita Christian soccer player Daniel Statton (10) celebrates after scoring a goal against Hillcrest Granada Hills on Thursday at Reese Field.

 

Santa Clarita Christian boys’ soccer head coach Steve Cooper is growing accustomed to pleasant surprises.

First, he didn’t think his team would have a season after tryouts yielded only six players.

Then, his team went out on its own and recruited five more players. Now the 11-man squad is undefeated two games into a young season.

The Cardinals picked up their first win, a 3-2 victory over Hillcrest Christian of Granada Hills at Reese Field on Thursday.

“This team just keeps surprising me,” Cooper said. “Two weeks ago, I didn’t have a team. They’re playing with 11, there are no subs, there’s no well to draw from, you know? But they just don’t give up.”

Hillcrest Christian (3-1) got out to an early lead thanks to Musa Haddad, who came into the game averaging nearly four goals per contest. Haddad beat SCCS keeper Ryan Otto twice early to put the Cardinals (1-0-1) down 2-0.

But Otto wouldn’t be beat again. The Cardinals’ defense clamped down with the team still looking for a leader on offense.

Sophomore Daniel Statton and freshman Christian Broadbent were ready to step up.

Cardinals sophomore Christopher Marquez found a streaking Broadbent, who made several big plays on offense and defense.

Broadbent raced past a defender, brought the ball under control and fired from about 15 yards out to bring his team within 2-1 about 25 minutes into the first half.

Statton hit the equalizer before the break on an assist by Ryan James.  

“At first, it was very frustrating, and some of us were very doubtful (about the season)” Marquez said, referring to the team’s low turnout and not having backups. “But we knew after the last game that we had the heart, the talent and potential to beat anyone.”

The Cardinals trailed by two goals on Tuesday as well, but managed to pull out a 3-3 tie with Mojave.

Cooper, who’s been with the SCCS boys’ soccer team since its inception in 2000-01, said there is just a certain toughness about the team that lets it play 80 hard minutes, subs or no.

Stratton had one more left in the tank in the game’s 60th minute.

With his team facing a second tie, Marquez found Stratton, who slipped by the last defender and finished a one-on-one against Eagles keeper Kevin Campbell with the game-winner, to make it 3-2 SCCS.

Eagles head coach Charles Bogray said he was disappointed in his team’s ability to finish on offense.

“They got off to a great start, but they just laid down on it,” Bogray said. “The team was 3-0 and I think they just got a little overconfident. This was good for us.”

The Eagles had one last push late in extra time, and Haddad looked prime for a hat trick. However, Otto, a freshman, made a clutch stop to preserve the win.

 

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