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Foothill League girls soccer: Hart’s turn at the top

Indians move into tie for first place in the Foothill League; Canyon drops out of top spot

Posted: February 2, 2010 10:43 p.m.
Updated: February 3, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Hart's Presley Lambert (13) heads the ball toward the goal as Canyon's Nicole Guerrero defends Tuesday at Hart High. Hart won 3-1.

 
When Hart girls soccer lost its second game last week, some people began raise doubts about the team’s potential.

Against Canyon, the Indians did their best to put those concerns to rest.

Hart junior forward Mallory Utley scored two goals both set up by teammate Katie Trevino and the Indians wreaked havoc on the Cowboys’ defense the entire game to earn a 3-1 victory on Tuesday at Hart High School, beating their second Foothill League first-place team in as many days.

“With our second loss, it kind of shook us up and we realized that we needed to get it back together again and prove that we had not blossomed early and weren’t done,” Utley said. “So we picked it up. We have a strong defense and Katie up top, so we are going to go all the way. We are going to take league.”

The Indians (14-5-3, 5-2-0) beat Saugus 2-1 on Monday.

That result, combined with Canyon’s 1-0 victory over Valencia the same day, moved the Cowboys (15-3-5, 4-2-1) into first place going into Tuesday.

With the win, Hart is now tied with the Centurions for the top spot with 15 points and a 5-2 league record.

Indians head coach Mike Gomez said he has seen a mentality shift as his team looks to silence its critics.

“They are all looking in and giving that extra 10-15 percent,” he said. “There is just a lot of passion on the team right now.”

That passion was evident from the start as Hart was repeatedly able to get a step behind Canyon’s defense, forcing goalkeeper Alex Krall to come off her line and challenge the play.

In the 22nd minute, Krall was again forced to charge Trevino and dove toward the ball.

The two collided inside the box and the Indians were awarded a penalty kick.

Hart senior sweeper Megan Indermill drove the ball to Krall’s left and just out of reach for a 1-0 lead.

Seven minutes later, Trevino outsprinted her defender to the endline, crossed the ball across the face of the goal and directly to Utley’s right foot.

The Indians went into halftime up 2-0.

“We could have had two PKs today and we probably would have missed them both,” said Cowboys head coach Eric White. “That’s just the way it was going today.”

During the break, Krall came off the field suffering from concussion-related symptoms.

She finished with two saves and four takeaways most of which came under a highly competitive injury-induced autopilot.

In the second half, Canyon turned to Kristin Grunhold.

“I just wanted to get them back for scoring the two goals on me last time (we played),” Grunhold said. “I was feeling badly for Alex. I wanted her to play because she was doing amazing. I was just kind of caught off-guard because after she got knocked out, she was playing amazingly. It came as a shock.”

Without any warmups, Grunhold took the field and kept her team in the game with multiple point-blank saves.

She finished with six saves, while her counterpart Kayce Perkins had two.

Then in the 65th minute, Canyon cut the lead to 2-1 when Malaya Cabrera headed a loose ball softly out of Perkins’ reach.

Rejuvenated, the Cowboys continued to push.

But their closing efforts were trumped when Trevino and Utley combined in the 76th minute to add the team’s final goal.

“Katie Trevino makes it really easy,” Utley said of her goals. “She laid it at my feet twice, so I didn’t have to do much. I was just in the right place at the right time.”

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