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The Day After Soccer: Drawing conclusions

Boys and girls Hart/Valencia matches end in ties

Posted: January 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Valencia senior Lindsay Bos moves up field with the ball against Hart on Friday night at Valencia. The Vikings tied 1-1 with the Indians and remain a half-game back of first.

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With the Foothill League focused on a matchup of heavyweights, the Hart Indians and Valencia Vikings girls soccer programs battling it out to a 1-1 draw on Friday night, it might have been easy to miss just how crazy of an evening it was.

Across town, the three-time defending champion Saugus Centurions lost their second Foothill League game of the season, falling in an upset to the surprising upstart Canyon Cowboys who, at 2-1-1 in league, sit alone in third place.

Finishing the season in third would mean earning the last automatic CIF-Southern Section Division II playoff berth from the Foothill League — something first-year head coach Derek Rusk has always maintained was the goal, even if those outside the program doubted the possibility.

“I’m not surprised. The way we’re playing is how we were playing all year, we’re just getting the results now,” Rusk said. “I think there’s a lot of people in the league that are a bit surpised, so the element of surprise is now gone and I think people are going to come prepared to play Canyon.”

Much like at the top of the standings, the bottom featured a draw, as well, with the West Ranch Wildcats and Golden Valley Grizzlies finishing knotted at 0-0.

It was the Grizzlies’ first point of the Foothill League season, and leaves them just a half-game behind West Ranch for fifth place.

The Wildcats, who qualified for the postseason last year for the first time in school history, have work to do if they are going to dig themselves out of an early season hole that has found scoring goals a point of frustration.

“I’m not surprised in terms of how difficult it is to get a win in league,” said West Ranch head coach Jared White. “It’s always a battle no matter who you play or where you play. So many things play a role. I knew finishing was going to be an issue and whenever finishing is your biggest problem, games are going to be low scoring.”

West Ranch did break through about 15 minutes into the second half on a goal by Nicolette Marinello, but the score was called back after the referee ruled goalkeeper Jordan Burrow had control of the ball before being illegally contacted to jar it loose in the box.

“We controlled the game and the pace and had the majority of the scoring chances,” White said, but he added that Burrow was outstanding on the day.

Next up in league play on Tuesday, the Wildcats will host Valencia, Hart will host Canyon and Golden Valley travels to Saugus with all games scheduled for 3:15 p.m.

Boys

In boys soccer, Hart and Valencia matched their female counterparts, drawing 3-3 in a match that saw the Vikings find an answer to every Hart goal.

The Indians took leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in the contest, but goals by Jake Ferry, Julian De Vita and Zach Klindworth tied things up each time for the Vikings.

“Once we gave up a goal we had to come out of our shell and attack a little more,” said Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio. “It shows the character of a team to be able to come back three times in a game to tie it up. I was really pleased with the way the boys played.”

Playing on the road, against the same Hart team that had defeated them 1-0 during the Hart Soccer Showcase, the Vikings came out of the draw with a feeling of victory.

“Going into Hart, we wanted to come out with a result and that tie was a win for us,” Scalercio said. “We felt as though that was a win. We wanted to come out with something, we battled back several times, Hart would score and we’d battle back and stay in the game. I had to change the formation several times and the emphasis on attacking several times to get the goals.”

In other action, Saugus picked up its first Foothill League win of the season, 3-0 over Canyon, and West Ranch improved to 4-0 in league play with a 2-0 victory over Golden Valley.

The Wildcats peppered the defensive-minded Grizzlies with 19 shots, 12 of which were on goal, scoring in the 15th minute on a goal by Jake Hirst and again in the 25th minute by Carlos Porcayo.

“What we said was every game was going to be a tight game and we’ve got a good team this year,” said West Ranch head coach Fred McGinn of his team’s start. “It’s a very strong team and to be 4-0, probably that’s beyond any expectations I had. Every game in our league is a well fought game and no one’s running away.”

After taking the early lead, the Wildcats remained on the offensive, but Golden Valley was able to keep them from extending the lead by playing quality defense and looking to score on the counter.

“We constantly keep attacking, and that’s what we did. We just constantly kept throwing the ball at them and they’ve got a very structured defense,” McGinn said.

Next up for the Wildcats is a matchup at second-place Valencia on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Hart is at Canyon at 5 p.m. and Golden Valley hosts Saugus at 3:15 p.m.

“They’re going to be a hard team for us to break down, always are,” McGinn said. “(Scalercio) focuses a lot on defense and fast breaks, so they’re going to be a hard team for us to break. “I don’t see an awful lot of goals in that one. We play attacking football, and we’ll just keep going for it. They’re structured and disciplined.”

 

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