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Semipro soccer: Quite a way to finish

Edite Fernandes records hat trick in Blue Heat finale

Posted: July 16, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 16, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

A frustrating season for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat came to a happy ending on Sunday at Valencia High School, where the Blue Heat beat the crosstown Los Angeles Strikers 4-1.

It was Santa Clarita’s first victory since June 20 when it beat the Victoria Highlanders 4-2.

Since then, Santa Clarita lost four games and tied two, which left it out of the race for a playoff spot.

“We needed it,” said assistant coach Leonardo Neveleff of Sunday’s win. “We needed it so bad, so we did it finally.”

Neveleff coached the majority of the game in place of head coach Charles Martinez, who missed most of the game for personal reasons.

Portuguese national player Edite Fernandes knocked in three goals in the game for the Blue Heat (4-6-4) to push her season total to a team-high nine goals.

She scored her first two in the opening eight minutes of the game before teammate Stacey Rodwell converted a penalty kick in the 11th minute, putting Los Angeles (3-9-2) in a 3-0 hole.

From there, it was a matter of hanging on.

“We were solid in the backline and the middle,” Neveleff said. “The mistakes that were made, we knew how to recover.”

Fernandes completed her hat trick in the 67th minute, and Strikers midfielder Laura Stockdale skidded in a goal in the final minute.

The Blue Heat finished fifth of eight teams in the Western Conference, which marks an end to their third season in existence.

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