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Saugus opens in fine form

Crisp Centurions blank improved West Ranch squad

Posted: January 12, 2010 10:47 p.m.
Updated: January 13, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Saugus' Jamie Molacek (11) tries to dribble between West Ranch's Amanda Dailo, left, and Hailey Reynolds Tuesday afternoon at Saugus High School.

 

One year ago, Saugus girls soccer opened the Foothill League season with a four-goal loss to Valencia, a game that masked the Centurions’ true potential.

In Tuesday’s league opener, the mask was gone.

Thanks to crisp and creative passing, an overwhelming attack and goals from seniors Shasta Fisher and Jamie Molacek, the Centurions beat a strong West Ranch team 2-0 on Tuesday at Saugus High School in both teams’ league opener.

“The first win is big for us because last year we lost to Valencia 4-0,” Molacek said. “So we came out hard and wanted to show the rest of the league that we can defend what we did last year.”

Saugus (9-1-3) did not waste any time applying pressure, but was turned away by the stellar goalkeeping of senior Tina Hedwall.

Hedwall finished with 12 saves, including three in the first minute of play.

“And those were big saves,” said West Ranch head coach Cami Bangasser. “Those could have easily been three goals.”

In the 20th minute, the Wildcats (9-4-3) were called for a hand ball in the goal box, giving Saugus a penalty kick.

Fisher calmly drove the ball to the bottom-left corner for a 1-0 lead.

Despite a heavy dose of well-placed through-balls and unpredictable touches by Molacek, Fisher, Brittanie Sakajian, Ysabelle Padron and the rest of the Centurion offense, West Ranch held off the reigning CIF-Southern Section Division II champions for the rest of the half.

By the end of the game, Saugus outshot the Wildcats 20-8.

“We can’t hold back because no team is taking us lightly,” said Centurions head coach Natalie Helgeson.

Minutes into the second half, Molacek put her team up 2-0.

Saugus defender Colleen Ortega sent a corner kick into the box to Padron, whose head ball was knocked to the ground.

Molacek picked up the loose ball, dribbled past a couple defenders and placed the ball squarely in the lower-left corner.

West Ranch made a late push, led by seniors Amanda Dailor and Regan Romero, but could not find a way through the Centurion defense and sophomore sweeper Serena Smith-Banas, a recent junior varsity call-up.

Goalkeeper Kelly Parker finished with three saves on the game.

“There is a reason they are the defending CIF champs,” Bangasser said. “Their technique is phenomenal. Their passing is better than good. They don’t make a mistake.”

 

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