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Getting their kicks

• Saugus AYSO soccer squad excels in tourney

Posted: June 10, 2008 6:38 p.m.
Updated: August 11, 2008 5:01 a.m.

The Saugus Titans boys-under-14 AYSO soccer squad, with their second place Splash medals, include (kneeling in front row, left to right) Garrett Snyder, Anders Jansson, Ryan Mahoney, Zack Nua, Brett Schreiber, & Paulo Trentini. (Standing, left to right) coach Steve Singer, Michael St. Amand, Austin Reilly, Aidan Mahoney, Justin Socarras, Josh S...

 

To Steve Singer, wins and losses aren't as important as the way you play the game. His 14U soccer team, the Saugus Titans, lost Sunday in the championship game of the 11th Annual 2008 Splash Tournament held on June 7-8 in Santa Barbara but they didn't resort to the tactics used by their opponents, according to Singer. And for that, he commended them after the game.

"All the parents are very proud of them," Singer said.

Singer was awarded the Spirit Trophy, handed out to the coach/team in each division that best exhibits the AYSO "spirit" of fair play & sportsmanship over the course of the tournament weekend. He was nominated by the coach of the Beverly Hills team they played earlier in the tournament.

"We emphasize good sportsmanship, positive coaching, everyone plays," he said.

The Titans have been winners on the field as well. They've made it to the championship game in five of the seven tournaments they've entered and won the Coyote Classic in Apple Valley as well as the Strawberry Cup in Camarillo.

With 14 members on the team, picked out of about 100 kids in the 14U age group in Region 46, the Titans have been a scoring by committee team. Made up of seventh and eighth graders, and a few high school freshman including Anders Jansson and Ryan Mahoney who played on the Valencia frosh/soph team, the Titans have scored 66 goals this season.

"We don't have some strong forward who scores 40 goals," Singer said.

Instead, they've shared the ball, passing their way to goals inside the box.

Everyone on the team has scored. Chris MacDonald is the leading scorer with 15, Mahoney has put in 12, and Josh Singer, Steve's son, has scored eight and leads the team in assists.

Defensively, they've been just as stellar. In the Santa Barbara tournament, they allowed just one goal in their three pool games. The Titans have only one loss in 21 total pool games.

"It's the most successful tournament team that I've coached," said Singer, who's coached for four years and whose son Josh is the youngest player on the team.

The younger players on last year's team became the leaders and the incoming players meshed.

"This team just came together as a team really quickly," Singer said. "They have the skill and they have the heart and they play together."

The Titans have one more tournament left on June 21-22 in San Juan Capistrano.

"They've been a fun team to watch, they come from behind, and they never give up," Singer added.

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