View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Soccer: Heating up again

After midseason break, Blue Heat gather themselves in second half to beat Colorado

Posted: June 29, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 29, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Blue Heat forward Hannah Beard, right, tries to protect the ball from the sliding tackle of Colorado Force defender Jenifer Thomas on Tuesday at Valencia High School. The Blue Heat beat the Force 3-1 in their W-League game.

View More »

The Santa Clarita Blue Heat ended the first half of United Soccer Leagues W-League play on a roll.

Despite a two-week layoff, nothing appears to have changed.

Hannah Beard and Edite Fernandes had a goal and an assist each, and the Blue Heat pulled away with two quick goals in the second half of a 3-1 win over the Colorado Force on Tuesday at Valencia High School.

“With the break, we had to come in and be motivated and intense,” said Santa Clarita head coach Fabian Sandoval. “It took us the first half of the game to match the intensity.”

The Blue Heat (7-0-1) are currently one point behind the Vancouver Whitecaps for first place in the Western Conference. However, Vancouver has played two more games than Santa Clarita.

The Blue Heat have a chance to move into first place when they play the Colorado Rush at 7 p.m. Thursday at Valencia.

On Tuesday, Fernandes’ seventh goal of year put her team ahead 2-1 in the 46th minute.

Beard played the ball into the center of the field for the team captain, who dribbled the ball into space and sent a rifling shot past Force goalkeeper Hannah Clark from the top of the box.

Then in the 54th minute, Fernandes set up Liz Franco, who tucked a shot just inside the post for the 3-1 advantage.

“The first half, we were too relaxed,” Fernandes said. “In the second half, were had more attitude and were more powerful.”

Beard put the Blue Heat up 1-0 in the 32nd minute when she stole the ball from a Colorado defender, carried the ball toward the goal and sent a shot far post that froze Clark.

The Force (1-5-1) kept the game close by dominating possession early on and connecting short passes.

Eventually, the strategy paid off for Colorado, which tied the score at 1-1 in the 43rd minute. Force defender Erin Gunther served a corner kick across the 18-yard box to Larissa Campos, who buried the ball past diving Blue Heat goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo.

It was Jacobo’s only blemish in an otherwise solid day. She finished with seven saves, while Clark had 10.

“We want to possess the ball, and find a way to keep it moving, keep it simple,” said Colorado head coach Tracy Chao. “Keep it simple. I think some of our defensive errors cost us some goals. ... You can’t consistently try to dig yourself out of a hole.”

It didn’t take long for those errors to surface. When they did, the Blue Heat capitalized and remained undefeated.

Santa Clarita has now outscored its opponents 24-6, one year after finishing the season with a 3-5-2 record and six total goals.

“This team has gelled really well,” Beard said.


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...