Saugus girls soccer put set pieces to good use to pull out a 1-0 victory over Canyon Thursday afternoon at Saugus High School.
“We played well, we connected, we just didn’t have as many opportunities as we did Tuesday. We’re getting there. We’re slowly building up,” said Saugus head coach Kevin Miner.
Sascha Marcellin was the hero of the day, netting the only goal of the match for the Centurions (7-3-3 overall, 2-0-2 league). About midway through the first half, Saugus lined up for a free kick. Shaina Berdin delivered the ball across the front of the goal.
Canyon goalkeeper Aubrey McKessy tracked the ball as it traveled, prepared to keep it out of the net. Marcellin redirected the pass to the opposite end of the goal. McKessy had no chance as the ball hit the inside wall of the net.
The play went exactly as the Centurions practiced.
“I’m happy for her,” Miner said of Marcellin. “She’s been working hard and got some more playing time today. I preach that when you get the opportunity, to take advantage of it, and she definitely took advantage of her opportunities today.”
Miner also had praise for Berdin. She has been a huge part of the Centurion attack whether she’s scoring or setting up her teammates to score.
“She does a good job of putting it in a spot for us to have an opportunity to score,” he said.
After conceding the only goal of the match, the Cowboys’ defense stepped up to create headaches for Saugus. McKessy and the defense made sure to keep the Centurions out of the net to create opportunities for their own offense.
McKessy even made some impressive saves to keep the Cowboys (1-6-2, 1-2-1) alive. Saugus kept pressure on her through a barrage of outside shots from Marcellin and Emily Barbour. McKessy made diving saves to push them away from the goal.
“Our defense was strong,” said Canyon head coach Milan Cabrera. “Aubrey made some amazing saves. She had a great game today. Aubrey kept us in the game.”
Canyon’s defense gave its offense an opportunity to try and change the result of the game to either a tie or to even jump ahead.
“We took them down the line. We had opportunities but nothing fell,” Milan said.
However, the Centurion backline has been hard to crack this season and proved to be too much for the Cowboys.
“We worked on some stuff, clean some things up,” Miner said. “It’s just another step for us. Every time we step on the field we try and get better.”
Canyon will return home to play under their own lights against a Valencia team that is looking to turn a corner on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. Saugus will also have a home game on Tuesday. They will try to dethrone Hart at 3:15 p.m.