Valencia boys soccer’s Friday afternoon match against Saugus may have ended in a 1-1 draw, but Vikings coach Tony Scalercio was able to see small wins for his team within the game.
“To come into Saugus and get a result to get the tie was good,” said Scalercio. “Saugus is a good team, there’s no doubt about it and we’re both fighting for that last playoff spot, so it was a battle.”
The Vikings (3-7-4 overall, 1-3-2 in Foothill League) built a brick wall of a defense in the first half, with goalkeeper Harrison Koury fending off shots from every angle.
Saugus’ attack wasn’t letting up, either.
“One of the things that we need to work on is just putting that ball away and we struggled with that last time we played Valencia, where we had a lot of opportunities,” said Cents coach Seth Groller. “Again (we) had a lot of opportunities today. Their keeper came up huge.”
Valencia center midfielder Ian Young scored in the 27th minute, giving his team a much-needed offensive boost.
After an Evan Ross throw-in, Ethan Alvarez bounced the ball over to Young, who volleyed it with his left foot on a second touch with traffic in front of the net.
“From there it was just awesome,” Young said. “It was an awesome feeling. I just think it was a team effort, that tie, too bad it didn’t become a win.”
The Centurions (8-5-5, 2-2-2) evened the score late in the second half on a penalty kick. Anthony Landeros buried the ball to give Saugus a late jolt of energy.
Before Friday evening’s Foothill League boys soccer action began, Saugus sat in third place in the league standings. Valencia was in fifth – and eyeing a playoff berth.
“We want to try to continue to get some results,” Scalercio said. “I liked today. Coming into Saugus and scoring … tying Saugus 1-1 at home is nothing to be ashamed of.
“Every game we’re just going to try to improve and our focus will be to get into the playoffs.”
Hart 3, Golden Valley 0
Jose Leon scored within the first five minutes to give the Indians (12-6-1 overall, 6-0 in Foothill League) an early lead. Jaden Nguyen added two more goals: one in the 15th minute and another in the 35th minute.
Hart next plays at Valencia on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 3:15 p.m. and the Grizzlies (3-10-1, 0-6) play at Canyon on the same day at 5 p.m.
Canyon 0, West Ranch 0
The Cowboys (4-12-3, 2-3-1) host Golden Valley on Tuesday and the Wildcats (8-2-3, 4-1-1) host Saugus on the same day.