Hart boys soccer clinches league title

Hart High's Franzoa Hernandez (15) kicks the ball toward the goal against Valencia defender Connor Scott (28) at Hart High School on Tuesday, 050421. Dan Watson/The Signal

When Hart High boys soccer head coach Gio Salinas took over the program just days before the already unplanned season got underway, a primary goal, he said, was to keep up the program’s winning tradition. 

Mission accomplished. 

With a win over Valencia High, the Indians once again claimed the Foothill League title, and doing so, once again, with a dramatic 2-1 win Tuesday, rallying from a 1-goal deficit with 15 minutes left to take another league crown. 

Valencia High’s Marcel Palare (11) is surrounded by Hart defenders, Sebastian Ramirez (6), Steven Metzler (7) and Edilson (cq) Ramirez (16) at Hart High School on Tuesday, 050421. Dan Watson/The Signal

In February 2020, the Indians secured the league title with a 2-1 victory over Saugus that came on a goal scored with about a minute remaining in regulation. 

“We’re more of an attack-oriented team,” Salinas said, adding, “as soon as the opponent (lets) their guard (down), we take advantage of those situations. 

Valencia High’s Azael Jovel (10) and Hart High’s Edilson (cq) Ramirez (16) fight for a pass at midfield at Hart High School on Tuesday, 050421. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We had a good group of kids,” he added, also crediting assistant coach Louis Mogrovejo. “Each one had a different personality and, as a coach, my job was just to figure out all the pieces and how to put it together.” 

The Indians (7-2-1) followed Tuesday’s league title-clinching win with a 2-0 win over Golden Valley. They’re now looking to take a four-game win streak into the recently announced postseason. The team is currently ranked 19th in CIF Southern Section Division II play, according to MaxPreps.com. 

“The goals that I had as the head coach is to continue the tradition of winning,” Salinas said Friday, “and now my next obstacle is to make a good run at CIF.” 

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