Through over two hours of combined play this season, the Hart and Saugus girls soccer teams had yet to find the back of the net against each other.
The Foothill League mates met in late December when Saugus stunned the four-time defending Foothill League champions with a penalty-kick shootout victory in the Hart Soccer Showcase final.
Indians junior Izabel Reyes didn’t suit up that game.
Coincidentally, it was a goal from Reyes following a corner kick and a scrum around the net early in the second half that led Hart to a 1-0 victory Tuesday afternoon at Saugus.
Hart (12-5, 5-0) remained perfect through the first round of Foothill League play and notched its fifth consecutive shutout.
“We were very discouraged when we lost in (penalty kicks) to them,” Reyes said. “We really needed to play them again to let them know that we had some fire left in us.”
Reyes’ goal came in the 45th minute after a corner kick had been deflected by two headers and landed in front of her to the left of the goal. Reyes kept the ball inbounds with her first touch and then beat Saugus goalkeeper Kayla Medof with a left-to-right shot on her second touch.
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“We definitely had the game that they tied us and beat us in (penalty kicks) in the back of our heads,” said Hart coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “At the end of the day, the girls know the most important thing is league. I didn’t think we had a great start. But I don’t think it had to do with us being too fired up.”
Saugus (8-5-3, 1-2-2) possessed the ball for the majority of the first half but ended the day with just five shots — two on goal.
Alana Berens gave the Cents their best second-half scoring chance. Coming off a free kick from just over 40 yards out, Berens buzzed the top post with a shot from well inside the penalty box. Berens matched Shaina Berdin with a team-high two shots.
Senior Kathleen Volpei remained out after injuring her knee in a tie against West Ranch on Jan. 12 and was due to get an MRI on Wednesday.
“I definitely think we brought a little more fight today and a lot of teams do that against Hart,” said Saugus coach Aly Drake. “I think we controlled the first half. But once they snuck one in, I thought you saw us deflate a little.”
While Hart remains undefeated through the first round of league play, Saugus picked up just one win, though narrowly missed out on at least four more points. The Cents let up a goal to Valencia in added time to end in a tie and allowed a goal in the final minute to Canyon to end in a 1-0 loss last Friday.
“We’re not happy with our first round but I think we can learn from those mistakes and put a full 80 minutes out on the field,” Drake said.
Hart travels to play Golden Valley (2-9-2, 0-5) Friday while Saugus will hit the road to play Valencia.
West Ranch 3, Golden Valley 0
Ally Snyder, Emilie Cisneros and Perla Lorenzo each tallied goals Tuesday for West Ranch (8-6-1, 2-2-1).
Sydney Marbach and Danielle Lium collected assists while Bridget Caffrey notched her second shutout Foothill League shutout of the season.
West Ranch hosts Canyon on Friday.