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Blue Heat: First win in the books

Santa Clarita Blue Heat notch first win in franchise history

Posted: July 3, 2010 10:30 p.m.
Updated: July 3, 2010 10:30 p.m.

The Santa Clarita Blue Heat women's soccer team took a historic step on Saturday night.

In its first year since the rights to the team were acquired from the Ventura Fusion, the United Soccer Leagues W-League franchise recorded its first win, defeating the Colorado Force 2-1 at Valencia High School.

"This win takes a lot of weight off our backs, and the girls needed it," said Blue Heat head coach Eduardo Zatarain. "We gave it everything we had."

The Colorado Force (1-2-5) took a 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute after Erin Walter took a pass from Taylor Patterson and put it in the back of the net.

Blue Heat forward Janet Mendez scored the equalizer in the 50th minute with an assist from Shannon Omahen, a Canyon High graduate.

The Force had a chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty kick, but Zoe Avner sent it over the crossbar, keeping the score knotted at 1-1.

Blue Heat forward Cherelle Khassal, who scored the team’s first-ever goal on June 19 against Seattle, netted the game-winner in the 80th minute Saturday on an assist by Tenley Garcia.

"We had plenty of opportunities to win and we didn't capitalize," said Colorado head coach Craig Deacon. "When you don't capitalize, you get beat."

A strong defensive effort by the Blue Heat was the difference in the game, with goalkeeper Erin Frushon making 15 saves.

The Force took 22 total shots, while the Blue Heat (1-4-1) notched eight.

"I will work my butt off, but it's the team working together that wins the game," Frushon said. "It was an intense game."

Blue Heat defender Brooke Beeson said that Zatarain made some changes to their defensive formation which proved beneficial.

"We switched from a flat-back 4 to a sweeper and stopper," Beeson said. "It freed me up to man-mark and stick tight to players."

Beeson said that the win was much needed after working so hard this season.

"We've been so close in games and we all work so hard for each other," Beeson said. "This is a turning point."

The Blue Heat will play the defending USL W-League national champion Pali Blues on Monday at 7 p.m. at Valencia High School.



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