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Coutin's No. 5 Off the Market

Posted: March 6, 2008 1:52 a.m.
Updated: May 7, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Sarina Coutin kicks the ball in a game on Dec. 20 in a 2-1 win over Buena. Coutin scored 104 goals in her career with the Indians and had her No. 5 jersey retired Wednesday.

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Hart High forward Sarina Coutin remembers coming in as freshman and being told that no one could wear the No. 2 in Indians girls soccer.

That was Erin Misaki's number and it had been retired.

After that was explained to Coutin, she remembered thinking that was "pretty awesome."

Now, no one will be able to wear the No. 5, either.

Coutin's jersey was retired Wednesday night at the team's annual banquet.

"Now that I'm a senior and getting mine retired, that's unbelievable," she said. "I'm honored."

Coutin earned it.

She leaves the Santa Clarita Valley prep scene with a jaw-dropping 104 career goals.

Erin Misaki, a 1999 graduate, who went on to play at national powerhouse University of Portland and play briefly in the now-defunct WUSA professional league, she had set the previous record with 74 goals.

Coutin, a four-year starter for Hart, exceeded that mark by 30. The Cal State Bakersfield-bound senior nearly averaged a goal per game over her high school career, netting those goals in 109 games. She started every contest she ever played for Hart and holds the program record for games played and starts.

She finished just behind Misaki in career assists for second all-time. Coutin had 62 assists to Misaki's 66.

"She's a player that doesn't take losses very well," said Hart head coach Louis Romero of Coutin. "It's not all about her scoring but it's about making sure that the team wins.

"Sometimes players, if they have that caliber, they are a little more selfish. I don't see that at all."

In addition to the staggering statistics, Coutin was the consummate leader on the field. Romero said during games the forward often would relay the information from him to her teammates.

"She'll give you the full 80 minutes, or like we played in our last game, 117 minutes," Romero said. "She gives 110 percent of herself. Even being at 50 percent, it's 100 percent of some other players."

Romero took the helm of the Indians program in Coutin's sophomore season. He made her a captain then, a position she's held for three seasons.

In her final year for the Indians, Coutin scored 26 goals. The next-highest scorer for Hart netted eight.

The Indians finished in a tie for second place in the Foothill League this year, but Coutin helped lead the team to the CIF-Southern Section Division II quarterfinals, further than any other SCV soccer team.

"Every time Sari gets the ball she's dangerous," said Tony Scalercio, the current Valencia boys soccer coach and Coutin's club coach for Valley United Stars. "Her best attribute is when she gets the ball she goes directly to the goal.

Anytime she is in a situation to have an opportunity to get the ball, she puts herself in a situation to create a shot or create an assist and become dangerous."

All of it has added up to an electric high school career, one of the best this valley has ever seen.

And now with each new batch of incoming freshman wanting to strap on cleats and shin guards for the Indians, someone will have to explain to them why they can't wear No. 5.

"Simply put, it's better than any award I've ever received. That's the ultimate award. It can't get any better than that," Coutin said.

"It's been a lot of hard work, but it was worthwhile for sure."

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