The rain fell heavily and consistently Friday afternoon throughout the first half at Hart.
And the shots came in just as frequently in the first half for the Hart girls soccer team.
West Ranch had been up to the task up until the final two minutes of the half. Wildcats senior goalkeeper Bridget Caffrey had been diving across the rain-soaked turf, smothering shot after shot.
Taylor Moorehead took the final shot of the first half, though, coming in the final two minutes, which evaded Caffrey and led Hart to a 1-0 win.
The Indians (11-5, 4-0 Foothill League) are the final remaining undefeated team in the Foothill League and collected their fourth straight shutout.
“It was crazy,” Moorehead said. “The rain was making it so hard to get the ball on the ground and on frame.”
Moorehead started out on the right flank and worked her way to the center of the goal while evading a pair of West Ranch defenders. She was able to get a near-unobstructed look at the net, with her momentum working toward the goal.
“A lot of power behind it,” said Hart coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “That was going to be very difficult for their goalie to deal with.”
West Ranch’s chances on the afternoon were few and far between, though the rain ceased for nearly the entire second half. The Wildcats were coming off their first league victory of the season, which it picked up last Friday against Valencia.
“They’re a little bit quicker than us, so it naturally slows us down,” said West Ranch coach Jared White. “The difference in speeds almost seemed to increase because of the rain. I thought the second half was a little bit more even speed-wise because the field dried out.”
The Wildcats worked it into Hart territory in the final five minutes of the second half. They were unable to get a shot on goal, though.
West Ranch (7-6-1, 1-2-1) was peeved at a non-call on a suspected Hart handball, which would’ve set the Wildcats up with a free kick from 25 yards out in the final two minutes of the game.
“Not saying we make the free kick, but who knows,” White said. “It’s frustrating.”
The Indians’ desire to hold possessions was stunted due to the rain. But Mitrovich was pleased with how his team found balance in the less than desirable conditions.
“We weren’t just being direct, but we kept on switching, finding feet and mixing it up a little bit,” Mitrovitch said. “Overall, I think that’s where we won it.”
Hart will get a chance to avenge a loss to Saugus, which came in penalty kicks in the Hart Soccer Showcase Tournament in late December when it travels to play the Centurions next Tuesday. West Ranch will host Golden Valley on Tuesday.
Canyon 1, Saugus 0
In a tight game in which both teams hit the post on respective shots, a penalty-kick goal from Claudia McKail was the difference for Canyon (7-4-2, 3-1).
Jacqueline Morrison was taken down inside the penalty box to set up McKail’s goal.
Saugus (8-4-3, 1-1-2) picked up its first loss since Jan. 6 against Thousand Oaks.
Valencia 3, Golden Valley 0
Aly Durkin and Alexa Trujillo each picked up goals for Valencia (5-4-4, 1-2-1), who were also the beneficiaries of an own goal from Golden Valley (2-8-2, 0-4).