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Casting a large shadow

Posted: March 10, 2008 2:12 a.m.
Updated: May 11, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Hart's Sarina Coutin is The Signal's All-SCV Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

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You could hear it in opposing coaches' voices when Hart's Sarina Coutin touched the ball.

Their voices tensed up. They screamed at their players to get to her and close down the space in front of her. Coutin and open space is rarely a good thing for opposing teams.

Sometimes, even when three or four defenders moved in on the senior, it didn't really matter.

She found the back of the net more than any other Santa Clarita Valley girls soccer player this season (26) and was also second on her team in assists (nine).

But there is so much more to why Coutin was chosen as the All-Santa Clarita Valley Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

The Foothill League is stacked with talent in girls soccer. And take one player off of most of those teams and they still wouldn't look terribly different.

For the Indians, that wasn't the case. Take Coutin off the team and it's tough to imagine where Hart would have been this year.

The four-year varsity starter finished her prep career with more goals than any other player in valley history.

By a long shot.

The previous record-holder, Erin Misaki, netted 74 before taking her game to the University of Portland, a national powerhouse in women's soccer. Coutin scored 104 times.

Maybe just as impressive is that Coutin was an assist machine too. She finishes ranked second all-time in assists in program history notching 62 compared to Misaki's 66.

The Cal State Bakersfield-bound senior wasn't just a force with her skills. Like any good player, she put the team on her back when it was necessary, even when it didn't seem her back could take it.

The day of the Indians' second-round CIF-Southern Section Division II playoff game against Quartz Hill, Coutin was at the chiropractor for her back. Playing through pain, she scored a goal and had an assist in a 2-0 win.

This year, Hart wasn't supposed to be that good.

They lost 13 seniors from a team that made a run to the semifinals in the 2006-07 season. With Coutin leading the way, the Indians went further than any other SCV soccer team in the playoffs, reaching the quarterfinals.

Head coach Louis Romero often says that even when Coutin is at 50 percent, she gives you 110 percent. And he says that 50 percent of Coutin is better than most other players who are at full strength.

Coutin is a player that can score, makes her teammates better and gives her full effort at all times. This year, it added up to second place in the Foothill League, a run to the quarterfinals, and The Signal's selection as the Santa Clarita Valley girls soccer player of the year.


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