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Prep boys soccer: West Ranch shows resilience

Wildcats responds to Saugus run in 5-2 win

Posted: January 16, 2013 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 16, 2013 1:55 a.m.

West Ranch midfielder Sepand Rouzebhani (13) advances the ball on Saugus' Zack Nua (16) on Tuesday at West Ranch High School.

 

For a few brief minutes, West Ranch boys soccer was pushed.

The Wildcats didn’t let it get to them though, which is part of the reason they’ve started off Foothill League play so well.

Senior Wade McMillon recorded a hat trick, including two insurance goals late, to help West Ranch pull away from Saugus 5-2 on Tuesday at West Ranch High School.

“I think we still have work to do,” McMillon said of his team’s 3-0-0 record to start the league season. “We still have that drive and we’re working really well as a team.”

The two-time defending league champion Wildcats are now 11-3-2 overall and are one of the hottest teams in the Foothill League.

At first, it looked like West Ranch was going to have it easy on Tuesday after it took a 3-0 lead late in the first half.

It wasn’t until the Centurions (3-8-3, 0-3-0) knocked in two quick goals midway through the second half that the Wildcats responded with their final two shortly after.

“That’s the difference between this year and last year,” said West Ranch head coach Fred McGinn of his team’s response to Saugus’ run. “We came back at it. We didn’t put our heads down.”

Not only did McMillon score three goals of his own, he was directly involved in a fourth one.

In the 17th minute, McMillon beat a Saugus defender to the right side, then crossed the ball toward the middle, where Colin Maher accidentally tapped it into his own goal.

That made it a 1-0 lead.

Less than three minutes later, McMillon got his first score of the game after Ian Klein’s rocket shot bounced off the hands of Saugus goalkeeper Jonah Valdez.

With 10 minutes to go in the first half, Jake Hirst found the back of the net on a nifty left-footed shot from the right side near the top of the 18-yard box to give the Wildcats a three-goal advantage.

“Honestly, we had the opportunities offensively. It comes down to defense,” said Saugus head coach Seth Groller. “Allowing five goals is unacceptable.”

On the positive side for Saugus, it gave West Ranch a scare after Jordan Pacheco and Austen Scheff scored back-to-back goals for the Centurions in the 54th and 55th minute, respectively.

McMillon then closed the door for Saugus, scoring in the 64th and 67th minute to round out the day.

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