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Foothill League boys soccer: Saugus finds number one

Centurions boys win their first Foothill game of 2012

Posted: January 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Golden Valley goalkeeper Fernando Lauchu, left, blocks a header by Saugus’ Danny Torres on Tuesday at Saugus High.

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Golden Valley punched. Saugus counterpunched.

Then the race was on between two Foothill League boys soccer teams looking for their first league win.

In the end, it was Saugus that delivered the knockout punch, winning 3-2 on Tuesday at Saugus High School to get into the Foothill win column.

“We feel like we could have won most of the games we’ve played so far,” said Saugus forward Brian Perez. “So it’s nice to finally get one.”

With the score knotted at 2-2 by halftime, it took just two minutes into the second half before the Centurions (6-10-2, 1-3-1) took the upper hand.

Saugus goalkeeper Justin Socarras boomed a kick that bounced near midfield untouched and began to inch its way toward the Golden Valley goal.

Grizzlies goalkeeper Fernando Lauchu arrived a split second too late as Saugus senior Pedro Aguirre tapped the ball over his head for the go-ahead score.

For the rest of the game, the defense held and the Grizzlies (2-14-0, 0-5-0) were left wondering how two separate first-half leads slipped away.

“This is one of those you kind of look back and go, ‘I don’t know what happened,’” said Golden Valley head coach Fausto Arana. “The boys didn’t play bad. They played good, but they just didn’t finish.”

For the first four games of league play, Golden Valley didn’t score a goal, but that drought was ended 10 minutes into the game when Billy Torres controlled the ball into the box and hit a right-footed shot into the net for an early 1-0 advantage.

The Grizzlies’ first lead of the league season lasted less than a minute, as Saugus immediately countered with a score from Jordan Pacheco, who kicked it from about 10 yards out on the right side.

Steven Reano was credited with the assist.

Fast forward another five minutes to the 24:45 mark of the first half, and Golden Valley took back the lead at 2-1 on an Anthony Hermosillo goal.

This time, the lead stuck around for a few minutes.

“We did some good things, but I’m going to definitely have to give it to Golden Valley,” said Saugus head coach Seth Groller. “They came out and took the lead, and then they did it again.”

It turned out that was the last one for the Grizzlies, who saw the Centurions even it out at 2-2 when Brian Perez took a pass from Kevin Hamburger into the box, where Perez lobbed it over Socarras’ head with six minutes left in the half.

Golden Valley went into the break with eight shots on goal, but finished with just 10 after the Centurions’ defense tightened up.

Saugus put nine shots on frame.

“We had more confidence,” Perez said of the second half. “We were starting to gain more confidence as the game went on. We needed to start out with that level of confidence.”

With the first half of the Foothill season finished, Groller believes his team’s best soccer still lies ahead.

“I still feel like we haven’t played a complete game like the way we’ve practiced,” he said.

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