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Prep girls soccer: Valencia secures its share

Vikings can finish no worse than tied for first

Posted: February 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.

The Valencia Vikings girls soccer team stood in a circle at Canyon High School and let out a small, almost understated cheer.

The Vikings had just defeated the Canyon Cowboys 7-2 on Friday night to clinch at least a share of their first Foothill League title since 2009.

But it was clear from the response that their mission remains far from accomplished.

Valencia goalkeeper Nicole Joseph could be heard proclaiming the Vikings (13-1-5 overall, 6-0-2 Foothill League) aren’t willing to settle for a tie — a sentiment shared by her teammates.

“We don’t want to share it. We want to keep going,” said Eryn Spencer, who scored three goals in the match. “... It’s our goal to go undefeated.”

In a game that matched up the top two teams in the Foothill League, Valencia showed signs of dominance.

The Vikings got on the board first in the 15th minute when Bailey Reid assisted Rebecca Harrison on a shot that went off the hands of Canyon goalkeeper Meghan Kennedy and into the back of the net.

Valencia would add two more first-half goals, by Spencer in the 25th minute and Reid in the 30th.

To their credit, the Cowboys (8-7-4, 4-2-2) never stopped fighting.

Canyon found the back of the net in the 36th minute when Mari Kneisel scored her fourth goal in as many games off a free kick from Alissa Munguia.

Things nearly changed a minute later, when Joseph raced toward the sideline to win a ball away from Canyon, but her clearance ricochetted back toward the middle of the field where Canyon players awaited.

But the Cowboys couldn’t capitalize on the play and entered halftime down 3-1.

“That goal gets in and it could have changed the momentum of the game,” said first-year Canyon head coach Derek Rusk.

Reid would score again in the second, giving her two goals and an assist in the match. Taylor Venegas scored on a penalty kick in the 59th minute to make it 5-1.

Canyon’s Kelsi Howard scored for the Cowboys in the 75th minute to make it 5-2, before Spencer completed her hat trick with two goals to round out the scoring.

The Vikings will look to clinch the Foothill League title outright on Tuesday, when they will need only a tie against Hart.

Canyon remains in position for an automatic playoff spot, six games ahead of Saugus for third place, with the two teams squaring off on Tuesday.


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