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Races start to find focus

Girls soccer only sport without one top team

Posted: February 5, 2009 1:54 a.m.
Updated: February 5, 2009 4:54 a.m.
 
Finally, some sort of clarity.

In Foothill League boys and girls soccer, a couple of games from Tuesday gave some answers.

The first answer came from boys soccer.

Canyon defeating Golden Valley 1-0 gave the Cowboys what would be considered a giant five-point lead over the Grizzlies in the race for the Foothill League title.

The Cowboys could clinch as early as Tuesday.

With Saugus defeating West Ranch 1-0 Tuesday, it gave the Centurions a three-point cushion on Valencia for the third and final playoff spot from the Foothill League.

Yet the Centurions have tied four contests this year.

“My team is confusing,” admitted Saugus head coach Seth Groller. “We’re playing well, but in those four ties, three of the four we came back.”

The Vikings could have maintained position with Saugus but were upset 2-1 by Hart.

Valencia has seven points, West Ranch and Hart have six each.

Things could have been a lot different for the Vikings, but forwards Jason Kent and Colin Gingrich have missed the last three games because of injury. Gingrich actually hasn’t been available all of Foothill play.

The result has been Valencia struggling to score.

Head coach Tony Scalercio has had to use goalkeepers Alex McIntyre and Eric Shannon as forwards.

The Vikings have been involved in four of the seven ties in league play.

That statistic prompted Scalercio to joke: “I think any team on any given day can tie any other team.”

Speaking of ties, the three-way tie for first place in girls soccer remains as Valencia, Saugus and Canyon all won.

Each team has 16 points, which means Hart, at 10 points, is hanging onto playoff hopes by a thread.

Valencia and Saugus will be favored to win their games against West Ranch and Golden Valley, respectively, this Friday.

If Canyon keeps pace and defeats Hart, the Indians would officially be eliminated from playoff contention.

The playoff race is heating up at the top of Foothill League boys basketball as we speak.

Hart put on an impressive display in the second half to earn a big win at Valencia, and the Indians stayed just a game back of league-leading Golden Valley, which held off Canyon in the fourth quarter.

The Grizzlies still have return dates with Saugus, Valencia and West Ranch, three teams they beat by a combined 11 points during their first meetings.

West Ranch improved to 4-3 in Foothill League play by upending Saugus and moved into sole possession of third place.

But the Wildcats still have to visit Valencia and Hart before hosting Golden Valley, so a playoff berth is anything but guaranteed, especially with the Vikings only being one game back.

In girls basketball, Valencia overcame a sluggish start and defeated Hart, so the Vikings are still just a game back of league-leading Saugus.

The Centurions went into West Ranch’s gym and emerged with a convincing 16-point victory that puts them in prime position to claim the league title. Saugus will finish its schedule by facing the bottom three teams in the Foothill League, with two of those games at home.

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