Hart’s unbeaten dream denied by Saugus rout

first_imgSAUGUS – For the first time during Foothill League play, Hart High’s girls’ soccer team looked like the hunted instead of the hunter. And for the first time in the past month, Saugus played like a team focused and motivated to win a championship. Unfortunately for the Centurions, even their 6-2 victory Thursday over the visiting Indians wasn’t enough to unseat Hart as league champion. But their convincing performance in the regular-season finale gave Saugus the belief that another title – the Southern Section Div. II crown – might be within their grasp. “We knew we had to go into the playoffs with a win on our back,” said Saugus coach Lisa Rollo, whose team scored three times in a 15-minute span in the second half to put the game away. “It was a big game for our (11) seniors. We haven’t lost on our field yet this year, and we wanted to (win this) for them. Sarina Coutin scored her 38th goal of the season just before the end of the first half to cut Saugus’ lead to 3-2. Although the Indians had two good looks at the Centurions’ net – one denied on a diving save by goalkeeper Marina Constantinou – in the first four minutes of the second half, the rest of the game was dominated by Saugus. “They picked it up because they realized the game wasn’t over,” Rollo said. “Betsy deserves a lot of the credit, because she was the one who kind of picked up the team, and everyone just fed off her (energy).” Michelle Mason also scored for Hart, which had lost only once in its previous 19 games. “Thank God it wasn’t necessary that we win this game,” Coutin said. “Fortunately, we got this loss out of the way before CIF.” Erik Boal, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “With the playoffs, you never know if you’re going to be at home, so if this was their last game here, we wanted to make it memorable.” Saugus’ seniors left a lasting impression on Hart (21-4-1 overall, 8-1-1 Foothill) by accounting for five goals, with freshman Erin Ortega scoring the other from a Betsy Kyle corner kick. Courtney Moses scored twice and Caitlyn Christie, Dani Morin and Amanda Terry contributed goals for Saugus (16-3-1, 8-2), which bounced back from a 3-2 loss Tuesday at Canyon that eliminated it from league-title contention. “The Canyon game hit us hard,” said Rollo, whose team moved ahead of the Cowboys (13-4-3, 6-3) into sole possession of second place. “We were lacking in intensity and that killer instinct. We had a two-hour meeting even before practice (Wednesday) and talked about what our goals were, and we came out (Thursday) like a whole new team.” Unfortunately for Hart, its team Thursday didn’t resemble the one that had gone unbeaten in its first nine league games en route to capturing the program’s first title since 2000. “We had been celebrating (since Canyon beat Saugus), and I think we were celebrating a little too early,” said Indians coach Louis Romero whose team was denied in its quest to become Hart’s first unbeaten league champion since 1998. “I tried to keep them focused on being (unbeaten), but things didn’t work out. I think the championship got in their head a little bit, and (Saugus) came out to play because they wanted second place.” last_img

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