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Saugus Backs it Up

Posted: February 17, 2008 2:09 a.m.
Updated: April 19, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
They don't give away the No. 2 seed to just anyone.

That high seed went to the Saugus girls soccer team heading into the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs and in its first-round game at home against Rialto, the Centurions played a like a team every bit deserving of that distinction.

The Foothill League champions dominated from beginning to end on Saturday afternoon, coasting to a 6-0 win over the Knights.

"I told them we were a No. 2 seed so we needed to play like one," said Centurions head coach Lisa Rollo.

Rollo said it is the first time the Centurions have advanced past the first round in program history.

It all started with midfielder Erin Ortega's goal in the 10th minute of play and ended with a score by Ashley Dale in the 60th minute.

When they weren't scoring, the Centurions (18-2-4) were peppering Rialto goalkeeper Natalia Guevara shots.

Saugus finished with 29 shots, 14 of those on goal. Guevara ended her busy day with eight saves.

Rialto head coach Javier Meza, whose team finished in fourth place in the Citrus Belt League and won a wild card game to face Saugus, said he hasn't faced any team as good as the Centurions this season.

"These girls are awesome. They play very well," Meza said. "Nothing you can do against a team like that. I see them going all the way."

It was a good day for Saugus not only because they won, but because Rollo's team has been rife with illness and injury so the big lead meant those players could take it easy.

Brielle Slepicoff had strep throat but started the game anyway, and Ortega played most of the game despite battling the flu. There were three other Centurions players who were dealing with injuries.

For Saugus midfielder Jamie Molacek, who added two goals to the total on Saturday, if the injuries and illnesses had to happen, better in the first round than later on.

"(We needed) one like that - one where we could score early, take our players out and rest," she said.

After a goal by Shannon Suarez in the 19th minute, Molacek scored her first goal with just over eight minutes left in the opening half, giving Saugus a 3-0 lead, which it carried into the break.

It was the first game back for starting goalkeeper Marina Constantinou, who sat out the final pair of Foothill League contests with a deep tissue bruise in her knee.

Constantinou didn't have much work to do on Saturday, however. She never needed to make a save in the first half.

The Knights (7-11-2) rarely took the ball into their offensive third of the field, getting their only shot on goal in the 65th minute and second-half keeper Hannah Schmid was there to make the save.

Saugus picked up right where it left off at halftime and scored five minutes into the second frame with the first goal of the afternoon by Dale.

Molacek scored her second on a penalty kick in the 57th minute, and Dale connected on her second goal of the game two minutes later.

"If we keep going we have (five) games and three weeks ahead of us," Rollo said she told her team before Saturday's game. "We have to play hard no matter who we see."

Saugus plays Laguna Hills in the second round on Wednesday at a location to be determined by a coin flip.

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