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A 'Pretty Huge' Win for Valencia

Viking girls pull off major upset; Golden Valey boys receive a boost.

Posted: January 31, 2008 5:58 a.m.
Updated: April 2, 2008 2:02 a.m.
What was once a fuzzy picture is now completely blurry.

The Valencia girls soccer team showed on Tuesday that it wasn't going quietly in the Foothill League, defeating previously unbeaten Hart in impressive fashion, a 3-0 win.
"Basically what I told the girls was 'Welcome back,'" said Vikings head coach Sean O'Connell. "The team that played (Tuesday) was the team that spanked Oaks Christian, spanked Westlake and won the Hart tournament."
It was the first time this Valencia senior class has defeated Hart, tying it twice previously, including a 3-3 tie in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
"It was pretty huge," O'Connell said. "Pretty huge. We had to start out the second half (of league) strong. There was so much competition and every single game is going to be extremely important."
It just confused things further in the league race.
Valencia (13-1-3, 3-1-2) jumped from fourth place to a tie for second with the Indians (14-3-4, 3-1-2)
Maybe more impressive than Valencia's showing against Hart is the effort by Nicollette Smith, who was cleated to the bone near her knee in the loss to Canyon Jan. 18.
She received six stitches and wasn't supposed to be back until Friday's contest at best.
Smith told her doctors otherwise.
"She basically told the doctor she was playing so he had to deal with it," O'Connell said.
Good thing she did.
The sophomore scored the second and third goals of the game for Valencia, putting the game out of reach for the Indians.
Jessica Change registered the shutout for the Vikings and Hart's Sarina Coutin is still sitting on 99 goals for her prep career. She'll get her chance to reach that mark Friday against Golden Valley.
"It was an all-around performance from the goalkeeper all the way up to the strikers," O'Connell said. "We finished the chances that we had."
The Vikings play today at West Ranch today to make up their game that was rained out on Jan. 25. Then on Friday they take on Saugus at home.
The Centurions (14-2-3, 4-1-1) now sit in a tie for first place after their 3-1 win over Canyon on Tuesday.
Both teams have 13 points.
However, the Cowboys (14-5-3, 4-2-1) have played one more game than Saugus, which has not made up its rainout game yet against Hart. That game will be played Monday.
West Ranch (7-6-3, 2-4-0) won its second game of league play on Tuesday, shutting out Golden Valley 3-0. Both wins for the Wildcats have come against the Grizzlies (4-12-2, 0-7-0) so far.
Boys soccer
After suffering its biggest league loss of the year on Monday against Canyon, Golden Valley (9-7-1, 2-5-0) exploded for a 5-2 win over the Wildcats on Tuesday.
"It's nice to get five goals during the game because we know we're capable of doing that," said Grizzlies head coach Phil Lopez. "It just seemed to fall into place (Tuesday)."
The last time the two teams faced off, the Grizzlies scored twice early, but West Ranch was able to score three unanswered goals to earn its first Foothill League win in program history.
This time around, the Grizzlies took a 3-0 lead into halftime, and extended that to 5-0 before the Wildcats put in two late goals.
It's still anybody's guess as to who will win the boys' title.
Saugus (13-4-5, 4-2-1) defeated Canyon (9-10-3, 4-2-1) in a battle of first-place teams on Tuesday, but in its make-up game against the Indians, due to Friday's rainout, Hart defeated the Centurions 3-2.
The Indians (9-6-7, 3-0-4) tied Valencia on Tuesday, and remain the only unbeaten team in league play.


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