After two hours of play, in the fifth game in a three-day span for both teams, Saugus and Hart were still seeking the goal to secure the Hart Soccer Showcase title.
The game was scoreless through regulation and a 30-minute golden goal overtime. The Foothill League mates then entered a penalty-kick shootout.
Even the shootout came down to Saugus’ fifth and final player, Breeanna San Lucas.
San Lucas evaded Hart goalkeeper Kendal De La Vega off the right side, sending her teammates waiting eagerly into celebration mode. The Centurions captured the tournament title with a 4-3 shootout win.
“I feel like I could cry right now,” said Saugus coach Aly Drake. “I’m shaking.”
Congrats to Saugus Varsity Girls Soccer on winning the Hart Tournament! With their win, that means that Saugus Girls Soccer swept the Hart Tournament and won at all three levels! Go Lady Cents! 💙⚽️💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/Rh1sJt7Tmi
— SHSSoccer (@saugus_soccer) December 30, 2017
Hart has won the tournament five times since 2010, including a win over Saugus in the championship two seasons ago. The Indians have also won the Foothill League title each of the last four seasons.
Saugus goalkeeper Kayla Medof made saves on penalty kicks coming from Sarah Melvin and Alyssa Irwin.
Medof shared an emotional state similar to her coach.
“I honestly was getting ready to cry when (San Lucas) was lining up for her shot, just knowing we had a chance to win it,” Medof said.
For San Lucas, it was the third straight game she’d found the back of the net. She scored goals in each of Saugus’ wins Friday before delivering the game-winning shot Saturday.
“Penalty kicks are just such a different animal,” San Lucas said. “They’re extra nerve-wracking, especially if you’re going last like I was. I knew I needed to go up there and hit it with confidence.”
It was a banner tournament for the Saugus girls soccer program. Its freshman and JV teams also won their respective Hart Soccer Showcase championships.
“Hart pretty much always wins the tournament,” Drake said. “To get the sweep is a major deal for us.”
Both Drake and Hart coach Guilherme Mitrovitch said they noticed the depleting energy from their teams due to the grueling schedule over the past few days. Hart was also without junior forward Izabel Reyes.
“We really missed her out there today,” Mitrovitch said. “At the end of the day we needed other players to step up and we couldn’t get it done.
“Saugus made us work hard out there all day.”
Saugus defeated another Foothill League opponent Friday in Canyon to advance to the final. Hart beat Thousand Oaks to clinch a spot in Saturday’s game.
The tournament championship was the first of three meetings this season between Saugus and Hart. They’ll meet in league play for the first time on Jan. 23 at Saugus.