Saugus boys soccer’s Joshua Truong’s second-half goals sink Golden Valley

Saugus' Blake Fusano (24) fights for the ball near the goal with Golden Valley defenders Jesse Villalba (5) and Jesse Valerio (19) in the second half at Golden Valley on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The Saugus boys soccer team had one Foothill League win under its belt entering Thursday’s road game against Golden Valley at Golden Valley High School.

Drawing in four other league games, the Centurions have had some trouble scoring and have only one league game with multiple goals.

That all changed against the Grizzlies as Saugus senior forward Joshua Truong found himself in the right position at the right time and netted both the second-half Saugus goals in a 2-0 defeat of Golden Valley.

Truong entered the contest with six goals on the season, scoring his last goal back on Thursday, Jan. 9, in a 1-1 tie against West Ranch, and wanted to make a statement with today’s game.

Saugus teammate Roger Sandino (25) looks on as Braden Salazar (5) heads a pass away from Golden Valley defender Pablo Luna (16) at Golden Valley on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Lately, I’ve been having the drive to score again because I’ve been on a goal-scoring drought,” Truong said. “As soon as I got in, I didn’t have much time to play, but I wanted to make the most out of it, and just see where I could end up with it. I feel like this is a good confidence booster for myself and it will get me back into scoring goals.”

The Saugus senior capitalized on the team’s first possession, off a counterattack, as Alec Fryer controlled a ball just below midfield. Fryer held onto the ball just long enough to draw both Golden Valley center backs towards him, as Truong made a run down the right flank and into the attacking third, Fryer spotted Truong for the goal.

“The one impressive thing about Josh is that he saw the ball and touched the ball into the goal,” said Saugus head coach Seth Groller. “It’s almost like we were slow out of the gates and predictable, but we changed it up in the second half.” 

His second goal came with under two minutes left in the match off a Rieghly Burke corner kick. Truong rushed towards the goal and tapped the ball in for his second goal of the half for Saugus  (8-5-4 overall, 2-2-4 Foothill League).

Golden Valley goalkeeper Alex Ortiz kept the Grizzlies (8-8-2, 2-5-1) in the game in the first half making multiple athletic saves. 

Golden Valley goalkeeper Alex Ortiz (27) blocks a shot on goal in the first half at Golden Valley on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

With Grizzlies’ defender Brian Romo out, Alex Vasquez and Jesse Villalba did a good job of denying the Centurions in the first half, but with numerous Saugus scoring threats, Saugus wore the Golden Valley defense down over time.

“They did their best,” said Golden Valley head coach Ken Claborn. “It’s pretty much, our players give what they have, it’s just a matter of is what they have going to be effective tonight to get wins or ties. You can only put players in positions to succeed, and after that, they just have to execute.” 

Golden Valley junior Pablo Luna did a good job of keeping the Saugus defenders on their toes making runs and getting to loose balls a little quicker. 

Late in the game, Golden Valley’s Jesse Valerio and Cesar Perez tried their luck threatening with fruitful shots-on-goal, but Saugus keeper John Garcia kept the shutout intact.

Saugus’ Blake Fusano (24) fights for the ball near the goal with Golden Valley defenders Jesse Villalba (5) and Jesse Valerio (19) in the second half at Golden Valley on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We need to figure out a way to score a goal,” Claborn said. “We get chances and we don’t put anything on net from 15 yards out. Those go in against us all the time, so we have to find a way to score.” 

With two games left in Foothill League play, Saugus hosts Canyon, while Golden Valley hosts Valencia on Tuesday. Both games start at 3:15 p.m.

“I told them, if you’re going to peak at a time, it’s either as you are entering league or if not then, right as we are entering playoffs and get that nice run there,” Groller said. “This is our first win by more than a goal in league so that’s definitely something that feels nice. Hopefully, it’s an indicator of what we have where we are kind of going.”

Canyon 1, Hart 1

Jarrett Reeser scored for the equalizer for Cowboys (9-9-2 overall, 3-3-2 Foothill League) and Kevin Newlands had seven saves.

Nathaniel Bello scored the goal for Hart with the assist from Nicholas Woll.

The Indians (13-2-3, 4-1-3) host West Ranch at 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Valencia 2, West Ranch 1

The Vikings improve to 6-2-6 overall and 4-0-4 in Foothill League, while the Wildcats drop to 4-9-3 overall and 1-5-2 in league.

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