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Prep soccer: Too much time

Saugus gives up one-goal lead in closing minutes to force a tie

Posted: December 13, 2010 11:09 p.m.
Updated: December 13, 2010 11:09 p.m.

Glendora defender Ellie Jaques, left, and Saugus midfielder Jessica Weber fight for the ball during a game at Saugus High School on Monday. The game finished in a 1-1 tie.

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Based on the looks on the faces of players after the game, you might have thought Saugus girls soccer lost the game.

After holding a lead for nearly the entire game, Saugus finished in a 1-1 draw against Glendora on Monday at Saugus High School thanks to a goal given up in the final minutes

The Centurions took a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game and nearly held on the rest of the way until Glendora’s Alexandra Wilson headed in the game-tying goal with less than four minutes remaining.

“Even if we would have beaten them 1-0, I would have been disappointed, just because of the way we played,” said Saugus head coach Natalie Helgeson.

For most of the first half, Saugus (2-1-3) maintained possession of the ball but squandered several scoring opportunities.
Saugus defender Serena Smith Banas used her height to score the lone goal on a header from just outside the net when teammate Stacy Atwater’s well-placed corner kick came her way.

After that, the Centurions failed to finish promising plays. On three separate occasions, Saugus players had the ball in the open field, but all three ended with offside calls.

“It comes down to experience,” Helgeson said. “You’ve got a new group of girls that are still learning how to play together.”

Saugus struggled to feed the ball to its forwards in the game, which often led to lost possessions.

This was especially true in the final minutes, when the Tartans moved one of its midfielders into a forward position.
Glendora (3-1-1) started pushing the ball up field more and putting pressure on Saugus’ defense, which had been solid up to that point.

“I’m just happy with the way we played today because if you look at (Saugus), they have 15 seniors,” said Glendora head coach George Sipa. “They were hurting us on throw-ins because of their size.”

The size advantage was in favor of the Centurions, but the effort may have swung the other way as the match went on.
“Our intensity just went down, and there’s went up,” Smith Banas said of the final minutes.

Midway through the second half, Saugus missed two shots off the top crossbar on corner kicks within a minute of each other. Midfielder Lauren Cech missed a shot wide left near the end of the first half when she received the ball on a throw-in.

Saugus had seven shots on goal in the game, compared to Glendora’s five.

Tartans goalkeeper Brianna Rice saved two shots in the game, which were both diving stops in the second half.
Outside of those two, the opportunities were few and far between for the Centurions after the break.

“I expected them to play better today,” Helgeson said.

Glendora’s goal was assisted by Tiffany Dimaculangan’s freekick from 30 yards out.

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