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Sign of the ties: Saugus, Valencia boys soccer ends in stalemate

Centurions, Vikings battle to yet another Foothill League standstill

Posted: January 30, 2009 9:52 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Centurion Erick Esquivel, right, tries to get past Viking Blake Sunderman Friday.

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Ties have been a recurring part of the 2008-09 season for both the Valencia and Saugus boys soccer teams, and Friday was no different.

The Centurions and the Vikings both picked up their fourth tie in Foothill League play when the clubs knotted 1-1 at Saugus.

"We're a little disappointed," said Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio. "We drew first blood, but then they came back, and we couldn't get it done."

Valencia (4-3-8, 1-1-4) scored in the eighth minute when forward Alex McIntyre knocked home the game's opening goal.

"I got a good shot, and I was able to get it in the goal," McIntyre said. "I still feel like we could have won the game, but we gave them the goal right back and didn't capitalize on our opportunities."

Saugus (4-9-6, 1-1-4) evened the score in the 12th minute when Amir Ranjbar booted a goal into the net.

From there, the Centurions controlled most of the first half and appeared to take the lead during stoppage time when sophomore Erick Esquivel kicked a putback into the net.

However, after a lengthy debate, the referees waived off the goal due to Esquivel colliding with the Valencia goalkeeper as the ball skipped into the net.

"The refs do the best they can," said Saugus head coach Seth Groller. "Still, when you lose a goal it takes the wind out of your sails a little bit. I'm just glad everyone that was involved in the play is OK."

The second half was a defensive struggle. The best scoring opportunity came on a Valencia penalty kick with less than three minutes remaining, but the Centurions turned the Vikings away.

"Ties are part of the nature of soccer," Groller said. "There's a lot of equality in this league so ties are bound to happen. Obviously we'd rather win, but I know my guys are giving it their all."

Saugus and Valencia will try to score victories on Tuesday when the Vikings host Hart and Saugus visits West Ranch.

"Right now, what we need to work on is what a lot of teams have to work on," Groller said. "We're playing with good energy, but we just need to make sure that it's smart energy."


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