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Prep girls soccer roundup: Cents’ playoff hopes alive

Saugus finishes fourth in league, Valencia goes undefeated in Foothill

Posted: February 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

Saugus knew it couldn’t afford an upset-loss to Golden Valley on Thursday afternoon if it had any hopes of making the postseason.

Entering the game in fifth place, it needed to jump to fourth to be eligible to apply for an at-large bid into the CIF-Southern Section Division II postseason.

Mission accomplished.

The Centurions defeated Golden Valley 1-0 at Golden Valley High, and combined with West Ranch’s 1-0 loss to Valencia, Saugus moves into fourth place.

Now, it will need to hope its 18-4-3 overall record (3-4-3 in the Foothill League) is enough to get in.

“I’ve never had a team that’s gone 15-0 (to start the season),” said Saugus head coach Natalie Helgeson. “We really took it on the chin this season, but all that matters is getting into playoffs. All we want is the opportunity to get in the postseason.”

Saugus peppered the Grizzlies with shots during the match, racking up 22 overall.

Monica Allen set up the Centurions’ lone goal with a throw-in in the 33rd minute that was put in the back of the net by Erica Grove.

“It was so nice to see the offense finally start coming together,” Helgeson said. “We were finally getting the shots we needed.”

For Golden Valley (4-13-4, 0-8-2), the year ended without a Foothill League victory.

But first-year head coach Adam Yassaman was still happy with the performance.

“We met the challenge,” he said. “The goal that was scored was a missed clearance. They finished their chances and we weren’t able to put ours away.”

 

Valencia 1, West Ranch 0

The West Ranch Wildcats did everything they could to keep their playoff hopes alive, needing a victory over the league champion Valencia Vikings on Thursday at Valencia High School.

But the Vikings did just enough to dash those hopes, as Taylor Venegas received a through ball at the top of the 18-yard box midway through the first half, spun around a defender and hit the right corner with a left-footed strike to give Valencia a 1-0 victory.

The win caps off an undefeated league-championship season for Valencia, which finished 15-1-5 overall and 8-0-2 in league.

The Wildcats knew Saugus had defeated Golden Valley earlier in the day, 1-0, meaning West Ranch needed a win to finish fourth and be eligible for an at-large bid into the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs.

Goalkeeper Logan Byam-Taylor was impressive, making stops and coming off her line to end Valencia scoring threats.

“We knew we needed to win down 1-0. We pushed extra numbers forward and that opens up the counter-attack and she made some big saves to keep it at one,” said West Ranch head coach Jared White.

With the loss, West Ranch finishes the season at 7-7-5 overall, 2-4-4 in league, but has played its best soccer of the league season over its last five games going 2-1-2.

“If the season were to have started five games in, I think we were really cruising and hit our peak,” White said. “It was just a little too late. I told the girls, (CIF-SS) Division II is lucky. If we were able to get in the playoffs, I really thought we were going to have a strong opportunity to go deep and win a few games.”

 

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