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Saugus girls soccer: Empty feeling

Normally productive Saugus offense settles for a scoreless tie

Posted: December 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Saugus midfielder Emily Orr, left, angles toward the goal while Alemany’s Baylee Ornelas defends on Thursday at Saugus High. The game ended in a 0-0 tie, which came after a loss on Monday.

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When the Alemany girls soccer team was walked off the field at Saugus High School on Thursday afternoon it was clear they were exhausted, yet ecstatic.

On the other sideline, the Centurions weren’t nearly as jubilant.

The Saugus team, which averages 3.5 goals per game, was held scoreless in a 0-0 draw with Alemany.

The Centurions struggled to run down loose balls and failed to create scoring chances all game, posting just four shots on goal — none of which were particularly threatening.

Saugus (9-1-1), which was coming off its first loss of the season Monday in the finals of the Buena Tournament to Oaks Christian, came out of the gates slow and underwent mass substitutions just 12 minutes into the game.

“I don’t know if it was a long week for them with finals,” said Saugus head coach Natalie Helgeson. “There’s no reason Alemany should have beaten us to the balls. It was a lack of heart.”

While the Centurions struggled offensively, their defense — led by defenders Monica Allen and Nicolette Cascione — kept Alemany out of the net and held the Warriors to few chances in the attacking zone.

“To hold a strong team like that on their field is pretty impressive,” said Alemany head coach Gustavo Garrido. “I wanted to watch the long throws, which was effective. Our goalie and defenders were effective today. We weren’t able to get as much of an attack as we needed to get.”

Saugus had a couple opportunities to get on the board late, as came out in the second half with more intensity than it had showed in the first.

Midway through the second half, Saugus’ Stacey Atwater sent a corner kick into the box where Angie Weiner put a header just wide of the net.

Alemany (6-2-2) had an opportunity to steal the victory late in the match when the ball landed at the feet of Lauren Bennett inside the box, where her shot went sailing high over the cross bar.

Saugus will have to wait until Dec. 27 to get back on the pitch, when it faces St. Joseph in the first game of the Los Tacos Holiday Festival at the Glendale Sports Complex at 3:45 p.m.

And while it wasn’t a loss for the Centurions on Thursday, Saugus knew it let a winnable game get away.

“It did feel like a loss the way we took it,” Weiner said. “Because we know the level we can play and we didn’t play that way.”

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