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Prep soccer: Cards reach new heights

SCCS girls clinch at least a share of the Heritage League title

Posted: February 3, 2011 10:31 p.m.
Updated: February 3, 2011 10:31 p.m.
 

The Santa Clarita Christian girls soccer did what it came so close to doing in recent years.

It secured at least a share of the Heritage League title for the first time since the program’s inception in 2002 by beating Hillcrest Christian of Granada Hills 4-0 on Thursday at Canyon Country Park.

Over the years, SCCS has come within a point or two of first place, but after a restructuring of the league this year, the Cardinals pulled it off.

“A lot of the girls, they’ve been in the program for four years,” said SCCS head coach Matt Gale. “It used to be more like athletes coming up to play soccer, now it’s true soccer players coming to play.”

With Thursday’s win, the Cardinals (11-8-1, 5-1-0) concluded their league season and guaranteed at least a tie for first place with Milken Community, which still has to play Hillcrest next week.

The first goal of the game was an own goal by Hillcrest which was set up by SCCS senior Olivia Gwinn’s cross.
“I was given the ball on a pass and I ran it down the line,” Gwinn said. “I went to cross it, and as I crossed it, my teammates were there in a big group. It bounced around a little bit and went in.”

That was all the Cardinals needed, but senior Joanna Masopust added two insurance goals, and freshman Suzanah Gwinn finished off the scoring with a header in the second half.

Like they’ve done most of the season, the Cardinals kept heavy offensive pressure on Hillcrest throughout the game, resulting in a 37-6 shot advantage for SCCS.

It was senior goalkeeper Natalie Keoshian’s ninth shutout of the season.

With SCCS likely hosting its first-round playoff game, it has the chance to make it to the second round for the first time in team history.

It could be yet another accomplishment the trio of senior captains, Gwinn, Masopust and Keoshian have been building to.
“It’s really neat us three captains being on the same team all four years,” Keoshian said. “We’ve really grown up together and really seen what it’s like to lead the team and become captains.”

Gale said the mixture of senior leadership and the introduction of elementary and junior high school-level teams has led to this accomplishment in the program’s ninth season.

“It’s kind of been a perfect storm for us,” Gale said.

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