After 12 Foothill League games, second-year Saugus High girls soccer coach Aly Drake finally earned her first career league win Tuesday, a 1-0 victory against Golden Valley.
The Centurions lost nine games and tied one last year in Foothill League play. This year, they are off to a much better start, tying their first two league games against Hart and West Ranch.
“(Last season) was rough,” Drake said Wednesday. “But it was a great building year. This year, starting out with two ties was good. Because those teams that we played were very tough competitors so I was definitely happy with those results, but it was finally nice to get a ‘W.’”
Drake has seen changes not only in her team, but also in her coaching style. This year, she plans for the future based on how her team performed in the previous game.
“This year I was able to see what I did wrong (in the last game), and I’m able to tweak it, which is nice,” she said. “And this year I’m looking more at each game, figuring out what we need to work on and what kind of practice I’m going to put together.”
Tuesday was also the first league win for assistant coach, Baxter Frick, who joined the Saugus program last year.
Frick is 26 and Drake is 25, but the pair insists that their ages help them better connect with their players.
“I get when girls aren’t having the best day, and I can see it pretty quickly and realize, ‘OK, this is maybe how I did it in high school and now that I’m a little bit older, I have more experience and can change it and help it be a little bit better,’” Drake said.
The two coaches and all of the players had the same mindset after the victory over the Grizzlies: There is always room for improvement.
“The 1-0 wasn’t what we wanted it to be,” said senior center back Kelly Yanover. “We wanted to have more goals, and we wanted to have more attacking, but we were ecstatic about the win.
“The motto we’ve been telling ourselves is that you can only go up, and don’t wish for it, but work for it. And we stick to that every single game. We just tell ourselves if we wish for a win we have to work for it. It’s been showing in our games.”
The Cents, who are currently 5-8-3 overall and 1-0-2 in league (good for second place), will have the chance to work for another win today against Valencia at 5 p.m.