West Ranch High girls soccer is in unfamiliar territory.
After defeating Valencia High 2-0 on Friday night at Valencia, the Wildcats found themselves in a two-way tie with Hart for first place in the Foothill League.
“It feels great,” said West Ranch forward Maddie Leonhardt. “We’ve never really been in this position. They’re always like, oh, West Ranch we’re just West Ranch, but now we’re a big competitor in the league and it feels great to be on top and not just be in the top in third or second place.”
PHOTOS: West Ranch girls soccer defeats Valencia
The Wildcats’ Aliyah Satterfield took the first step towards that No. 1 spot, scoring on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute.
After the half, the Vikings were determined to even the score and pushed up the field. But their attacking zone focus was a disadvantage when Leonhardt scored on a rebound in the 62nd minute.
“I was pushing up because I’m trying to score to get a tie, so we were caught out of position a little bit because we were playing up high.”
The goal was Leonhardt’s first career league goal.
“It was a great ball from the left side and then it came back for a rebound and I was like, oh my gosh I have to get this in,” Leonhardt said. “It felt great, it gave us help to secure the win. With one goal you’re not really secure for the win yet.”
The Wildcats’ deep midfield once again helped immensely. Playing six different midfielders, there was no dropoff in performance.
But the Wildcats will need consistency from everyone in order to keep their top spot. Which as Valencia knows, can be taken instantly.
“We went from first to third in one week,” Goralsky said. “It’s pretty competitive … league is so short and you can’t fall asleep.”
Hart 3, Saugus 0
Taylor Scott, Elizabeth MacArthur and Taylor Moorehead each scored for the Indians, who are in a tie for first place in league. Hart is now 15-2-4 overall and 3-0-3 in league. Saugus is 5-11-3 and 1-3-2.
Canyon 4, Golden Valley 0
The Cowboys’ Claudia McKail had a hat trick and Maddie McKessy added the fourth goal with an assist from Tyler Clarke. Aubrey McKessy is credited with the shutout. Canyon is 6-9-2 overall and 2-2-1 in league, while Golden Valley is 5-10-2 and 0-5.