Saugus boys soccer beats Canyon for first Foothill League win

Canyon goalkeeper Kevin Newlands (99) stops a shot on goal by Saugus' Dionicio Flores (9) in the first half at Canyon on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Saugus boys soccer coach Seth Groller was starting to compare his team to a baseball player. The Centurions had opportunities to score and win games, but like what happens occasionally to hitters in baseball, they were in a slump.

“In baseball, sometimes you have hitters that are in a slump and I feel like we’ve been in that slump, which has not been for the entire season,” Groller said.

The Cents were able to snap out of the slump on Thursday afternoon at Canyon High School as they beat the Cowboys 1-0 for their first Foothill League win of the season.

Saugus’ Dionicio Flores (9) heads the ball at midfield against Canyon defenders Evan Cueto (18) and Ivan Ledesma (22) at Canyon on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Alec Fryer scored Saugus’ lone goal on a penalty kick with ten minutes remaining in the first half. Fryer, a sophomore who was also on varsity as a freshman, alternates taking kicks with another player and was able to make the most of his opportunity on Thursday.

“He’s one of the guys who has had some opportunities,” Groller said. “Against Golden Valley had an opportunity where it was just point blank where it was just him and the keeper. He took the free kick here and … this was just a rocket that was perfectly placed.”

The goal gave Saugus (7-4-1 overall, 1-1-2 in Foothill League) motivation to play strong defensively to preserve the win. It wasn’t easy against a physical Canyon team that had just beaten Hart two days prior.

But as Groller pointed out, there is a lot of parity in the Foothill League this season. Valencia sits in first place with six points, but Hart is right behind with five and Golden Valley is behind them with four points.

Saugus’ Alec Fryer (8) and Canyon’s Chris Amaya (13) fight for a pass at Canyon on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Any team can beat any other team,” Groller said. “It just kind of is who shows up, which team  makes the big plays or plays well defensively is able to make the most of the opportunities and score.”

Saugus next plays Hart on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. Canyon (7-8, 1-2) plays at Valencia at 6:30 p.m. on the same day.

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