According to the law of diminishing returns, the more someone has of one thing, the less they will want it as time goes on.
That’s not the case for the Hart High girls soccer team, which exploded onto the field on Thursday, screaming “four-peat” after defeating Valencia High at home, 2-1.
The Indians secured their fourth straight Foothill League title outright on Tuesday. Thursday, they finished a fourth consecutive undefeated league season.
PHOTOS: Hart hosts Valencia in finale
“Even though we won league before this game, they were super motivated because they wanted to make sure they did it undefeated,” said fourth-year Hart coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “It would’ve been such a bummer to our seniors if after 39 games, we lost the last one.”
The Indians (19-2-4 overall, 7-0-3 in Foothill) provided steady pressure in the first half despite waiting to put in their usual starters, but didn’t break through until the 29th minute.
After several scoring attempts, Taylor Moorehead pushed up the left side and to the corner of the box, firing a shot directly above Vikings goalkeeper Evan Smith.
Smith initially made the save with outstretched arms, but the ball bounced off her hands and into the net behind her.
Valencia (12-9-2, 5-4-1), which was playing without key center back Kayla Kukaua, didn’t counter until the 69th minute.
Lauren Madero broke through traffic to score, simultaneously tying the game and giving the Vikings one last glimmer of hope.
Their spark was dimmed less than three minutes later when Hart’s Brianna Helsley audibly booted the ball from the center of the box for the go-ahead goal.
“I saw the ball coming out, and I just knew I was going to get to it and get to it first,” Madero said. “And I knew I was going to score. I just knew.”
“I think we’re at a point in the season … as a team that not any little goal was going to let us down anymore,” Mitrovitch said. “We know how to respond and fight back.”
Valencia, which had trouble mustering energy in Tuesday’s loss to Saugus High, once again struggled to connect.
“We didn’t communicate well, and I think that was the difference in this game,” said coach Kevin Goralsky, whose Vikings finished in third place. “So if we could communicate, we’ll be OK and that’s something that I was stressing after the game and before the game.”
West Ranch 3, Golden Valley 1
Erin Meottel had two goals for the Wildcats (11-4-6, 5-1-4), who finished second in league, and Aliyah Satterfield added one. Katie Ravanell scored for the Grizzlies (5-15-2, 0-10) with an assist from Emily Perez.
Saugus 2, Canyon 2
Goals for the Cowboys (7-12-3, 3-5-2) were scored by Isa Rector and Cynthia Valdez. Kelly Yanover and Maddy Overstreet scored for the Cents (7-11-5, 3-3-4).