Valencia boys soccer opened Foothill League play in dominant fashion on Friday afternoon, shutting out Saugus 3-0 at Saugus with key contributions from three sophomores.
“The team is working together, so I thought that we were working hard,” said Jean Pablo Zuluaga. “All of our guys were working hard.”
The Vikings (3-1-1 overall, 1-0 in Foothill League) got on the board in the first half with a goal from sophomore Guillermo Martinez as the Centurions picked up their aggressive style of play heading into halftime.
In the 54th minute, Saugus’s Dylan Sullivan was issued a red card after appearing to kick a Valencia player while battling for the ball.
“We could see it, when there’s a shift where we kind of were getting down and getting very frustrated,” said Cents coach Seth Groller. “So their emotions kind of got the best of them … that put us down a player and it was tough to fight back from that.”
The Centurions (3-3-1, 0-1) carried on and strung together passes, but Valencia was connecting as well and maintaining possession.
Ty Morrison knocked in a goal off a header on a set piece in the 59th minute to put the Vikings up 2-0 and continue the trend of solid play from underclassmen.
“We actually worked on that at practice a couple days before and it really just, it was the team, it was the coach, our coach helps us out a ton,” Morrison said. “He helped us create that play and I was just lucky enough to get on the end of it.”
Zuluaga, who is in his second year with Valencia after moving to the area from Venezuela, had a solid chance at scoring in the 67th minute as he took a shot from the top right of the box that rolled into the arms of Saugus keeper Ryan White.
Three minutes later, he took a similar shot, except this time White was out of position, allowing the cross to reach the back of the net.
“We just kept attacking them because as we’re attacking them, it creates an opportunity that they can’t attack us,” said coach Tony Scalercio. “The bottom line is we kept attacking them and we got a couple goals of it, which was nice.”
Valencia hosts Hart on Dec. 20 to continue Foothill League play, while Saugus will be at West Ranch on the same day.
Canyon 1, West Ranch 0
Harrison Davis scored the lone goal for the Cowboys on an assist from Tito Gonzalez with less than four minutes remaining in the match. Canyon goalkeeper Chase Moynihan recorded five saves in the shutout.
Hart 5, Golden Valley 2
Jesus Alfonso began the scoring for the Indians with an assist from Anthony Luna. Anthony then scored on a rebound and Cameron Castaneda scored a goal with an assist from Lawrence Luna.
Nicholas Woll netted a goal with an assist from Darwin Herrera, then another with an assist from Anthony.