Foothill League girls soccer roundup: Valencia beats Canyon for playoff berth

Valencia's Gracell Magnaye fights for control of the ball against Canyon's Madeline Brandriff (20) at Valencia on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Sitting on the CIF-Southern Section playoff bubble, Valencia girls soccer needed something special to happen on their home field on Friday night.

That special something came in the form of an Autumn Moore goal that boosted the Vikings to a 1-0 win over Canyon and into the postseason.

Moore took an initial low shot from inside the box, which Cowboys goalkeeper Aubrey McKessy grasped as she fell to the ground. Moore took another shot. It was met with another save.

On her third and final attempt, Moore sent narrowly sent the ball past McKessy in the 33rd minute.

“Autumn brings everything to my team,” said coach Kevin Goralsky. “She’s a whole-gamer for us … I love working with her. She brings so much energy to the team. She’s so fast and she never gives up.”

Canyon (10-7-2 overall, 6-4-0 in Foothill League) picked up the energy in the second half. Claudia McKail, who signed with Mercy College on Wednesday, had an opportunity in the 19th minute, but her shot ricocheted off the cross bar and back into play, never crossing the goal line.

McKessy, a sophomore, kept Canyon in the game throughout the second half with saves from about every angle.

“She’s taken on a leadership role, which is fantastic,” Canyon coach Derek Rusk said of McKessy. “And she just continues to get stronger and more confident and I’m excited to see what she can do in the next couple of years.”

Canyon’s goalie, Aubrey McKessy (11) makes a save during a game at Valencia on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The Cowboys end the regular season in second place in the Foothill League. After missing playoffs the previous two seasons, Rusk is happy for a breakthrough.

“We’re all excited to get back into the playoffs,” he said. “My seniors that were on varsity as freshmen, they’re the only ones that have seen the playoffs. So it’ll be nice exposure for this young team.”

Valencia (9-6-5, 4-4-2) finished third in league. With Saugus tying Hart earlier in the day, the Vikings found themselves in a do-or-die situation in terms of making it to the postseason.

“We’ve just got to keep fighting,” Goralsky said. “Just keep fighting every game, keep fighting, enjoy this feeling. That’s the feeling that you want to feel after every game. Tonight was a playoff game for us. If we didn’t win, we’re out.”

Hart 0, Saugus 0

The Centurions shut down the Indians’ hopes of a perfect 10-0 season with the draw.

Goalkeeper Kayla Medof had eight saves for Saugus, who ended the season 10-6-5 and 3-3-4. Hart is 18-5-1 and 9-0-1.

West Ranch 3, Golden Valley 3

West Ranch’s Emilie Cisneros and Sydney Marbach each had a goal and an assist in the tie. Jenna Catalano also scored.

For the Grizzlies, Emily Perez, Ana Melchor and Mariah Garcia netted goals.

The Wildcats finish the season 7-8-4 and 2-4-4. Golden Valley wraps up the year at 2-13-3 and 0-9-1.

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