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A Tie-Filled First Half Reveals Little

Posted: January 25, 2008 4:52 a.m.
Updated: March 27, 2008 2:02 a.m.

Katherine Hanson (11) of Canyon and Hart's Lindsay Mills, left, battle for a ball in the first half of Tuesday's game at Canyon High. The league-leading Indians are just one point ahead of the Cowboys and Saugus in the standings.03

Lisa Rollo has been saying it all season long.

The Saugus girls soccer head coach had the feeling the Foothill League would have a lot of ties and one-point victories.
Turns out, that's exactly what has transpired, particularly when the league's top four teams battle it out.
Valencia and Saugus played to scoreless tie on Jan. 15. On Jan. 11, Hart and the Vikings battled to a 3-3 tie, a game in which four goals were scored in the games final 13-plus minutes.
In the final day of the first half of Foothill play, Tuesday, Canyon and the Indians played to a 1-1 draw.
What does all of it mean?
Well, that very little has been determined.
The Indians sit in first place with 11 points, but Saugus and Canyon are right behind with 10 points each, and Valencia is still very much in the race with eight points.
Here's the outlook for the final five games of the Foothill League:
1. Hart (14-2-4, 3-0-2)
Indians head coach Louis Romero will tell you his team isn't playing pretty soccer, but it's still getting the job done and still find themselves in first place.
Hart is the only team without a loss in league play, but has three of its final five games on the road, including at Saugus today, at Valencia on Jan. 29, and at West Ranch Feb. 5. The Indians have Golden Valley at home, and play in the Foothill finale at College of the Canyons against Canyon on Feb. 7.
T2. Canyon (13-4-3, 3-1-1)
After a 1-0 loss to Saugus on Jan. 11, the Cowboys have come on strong with a 6-2 win over West Ranch and a 2-1 win over Valencia, where the Cowboys scored on a penalty in stoppage time to win it.
The Cowboys play what will likely be two of their tougher games at home when they face the Centurions on Jan. 29 and Valencia on Feb. 5. They will face Hart on the road in the final Foothill League match.
T2. Saugus (13-2-3, 3-1-1)
The Centurions may be the best team in the Foothill at possessing the ball, but they struggled to score to start the season.
In their last two games, they outscored their opponents 6-0, facing Golden Valley on Jan. 18 and West Ranch on Tuesday.
Of the top four teams, Saugus has arguably the easiest closing schedule, finishing with the last-place Grizzlies at home on Feb. 5 and the fifth-place Wildcats at home on Feb. 7.
4. Valencia (12-1-3 overall, 2-1-2 in league)
If anything speaks to the depth and difficulty of the Foothill League, it's that a talented Vikings team is in fourth place. But, Valencia is just one win away in points from being tied with Hart for first place.
Their loss to Canyon is the only blemish on Valencia's record so far this season, but the game cost the team a lot more.
After requiring six stitches due to being cleated, Nicollette Smith will be unavailable for 7-to-10 days. The best-case scenario would see her return on Feb. 1, when the Vikings face Saugus at home. Arika Griffith broke her toe in the Canyon game, and could possibly return on Jan. 29 when Valencia hosts Hart.
5. West Ranch (6-6-3 overall, 1-4-0 in league)
The Wildcats edged Golden Valley 1-0 in the second game of league, but since then have been outscored 12-3.
The bright spot is that in the final five games of league play, the Wildcats will have home field advantage against Canyon, Hart, and Valencia.
6. Golden Valley (4-10-2 overall, 0-4-0 in league)
Many of the opposing coaches have said they see marked improvement from the Grizzlies this season compared to last year, but Golden Valley is still without its first Foothill League win in program history.
The Grizzlies narrowly lost 2-1 to Valencia on Tuesday, but have a tough second-half of league play. In the final three games, they play Hart, Saugus, and Valencia on the road.


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