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Pro soccer: Out of opportunities

Despite late scoring chances, Blue Heat can’t close one-goal gap on Sounders

Posted: July 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Blue Heat player Ana Borges, center, takes the ball through Seattle Sounders Stephanie Cox, left, and Julia Roberts in the first half a United Soccer League W-League game on Wednesday at Valencia High School.

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The Southern California summer heat proved to be no match for the women from Seattle.

Outperforming the weather as well as their opposition, the Seattle Sounders Women beat the Santa Clarita Blue Heat 1-0 in a United Soccer League W-League game on Wednesday night at Valencia High.

“They dominated the first 25 minutes,” said Blue Heat assistant coach Luty Neveleff, who was filling in for head coach Charles Martinez. “From there, we were able to control the ball and build our counterattack.”

Blue Heat goalie Cynthia Jacobo played well and limited opportunities by the Sounders (9-2-1) throughout.

From the corner of the box in the 38th minute, Sounders’ Lyndsey Patterson directed the ball past Jacobo for the only goal in the game.

“Cynthia is a leader out there,” Neveleff said. “She was calm and kept us in the game today.”

Led by forwards Edite Fernandez and Ana Borges, the Blue Heat (3-6-4) continued to put constant pressure on the Seattle defense and had multiple chances in the second half to equalize the score.

In the 64th minute, an impressive slide tackle in the penalty box by Seattle’s Kelly Smith prevented Borges from taking a shot from point-blank range.

Another missed Blue Heat opportunity came in the 83rd minute off a free kick by Fernandez.

Standing from just outside the box, Fernandez was looking to tie the game, but was unsuccessful as she struck the ball and lifted it just over the crossbar.

Fernandez would get one last opportunity in extra time.

As she maneuvered past the defense, Fernandez took multiple shots right at Sounders’ goalkeeper Katie Hultin, who ultimately directed the ball away from potential danger.  

As for the Blue Heat, they’ll host the Los Angeles Strikers in their final regular season game Sunday at Valencia.

“I wouldn’t change a thing,” Neveleff said. “We need to put the ball in the net, and get a little bit of luck.”

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