Girls soc­cer: SCCS ties Vasquez in tough Her­itage League con­test

The Signal - - Sports - By Dan Lovi Sig­nal Staff Writer

It was a high-scor­ing af­fair at Cen­tral Park on Thurs­day night, as the Santa Clarita Chris­tian girls soc­cer team bat­tled Vasquez in a Her­itage League game that re­sulted in a 4-4 tie.

The scor­ing went back and forth with Vasquez pulling ahead early, then SCCS tak­ing the lead near the end of the first half and then the Mus­tangs ty­ing it at 3-3 right be­fore half­time.

The Car­di­nals then took back the lead at the start of the sec­ond half, be­fore the Mus­tangs tied it once again.

“I think to­day was one of those games where you have to rise to the chal­lenge. The other team is go­ing to pos­sess the ball. They are a well-coached team and I told the girls we have to be able to bat­tle and match those mo­ments,” SCCS head coach Casey Phillips said. “It was a re­ally well-matched team and I was proud of my team’s per­for­mance.”

Vasquez started at­tack­ing early and had a few op­por­tu­ni­ties to score, but Car­di­nals ju­nior goal­keeper Catalina Son­nen­berg made some key saves to keep the Mus­tangs at bay.

Son­nen­berg was busy for most of the evening as Vasquez fired close to 20 shots.

“She rose to the chal­lenge. She had 10 saves last game and she prob­a­bly had 10 or so to­day, eas­ily,” Phillips said of Son­nen­berg. “She doesn’t

re­al­ize how well she’s played. She de­serves all the ac­co­lades in the world for keep­ing the ball out of the back of the net and be­ing a solid rock in the back for us.”

Vasquez for­ward Melinna Ma­zon broke through in the 12th minute and put the Mus­tangs up 1-0.

Less than five min­utes later, SCCS fresh­man Vi­viana Soler ex­e­cuted a cross into the box, find­ing sopho­more Syd­ney Boswell. Boswell’s shot was de­flected right to the feet of sopho­more Siloam Bren­ner, who then blasted the ball into the back of the net.

Ma­zon scored once again for Vasquez a few min­utes later, but the Car­di­nals didn’t waste any time an­swer­ing right back.

Boswell made a run down the right side of the field and fired a shot that went just off the left cross­bar, but Bren­ner was there to col­lect the re­bound. She set her feet and made a crisp pass back to Boswell who fin­ished the play with a goal for the Car­di­nals.

Min­utes later, Boswell scored once again as se­nior Ash­ley Rens de­liv­ered a boom­ing free kick from near the mid­field line.

Boswell po­si­tioned her­self and de­liv­ered a rarely-seen bi­cy­cle kick right into the back of the net.

“On our club team we get put into that po­si­tion many times, so I thought I could do that. Hon­estly, I didn’t know it went in un­til peo­ple started cheer­ing,” Boswell said. “Once I saw it I thought might as well go for it if I have the op­por­tu­nity.”

“Some­times it’s hard to get a good an­gle on it so you want it to be a Sport­sCen­ter top 10 where you get to re­watch it a cou­ple times and take it in. She’s done a lot this year that’s made my jaw drop,” Phillips said with a smile. “It’s a re­ally fun thing for a coach to have that kind of tal­ent on your team be­cause you don’t have to coach it, you just watch and let them do their thing. I’ve had a lot of fun watch­ing them this year.”

Rens, who usu­ally plays cen­ter back, was often called upon to de­liver cor­ner kicks and free kicks be­cause she hits the ball with power.

She fin­ished the game with two as­sists, one to Boswell and one to Soler in the sec­ond half.

“I hope that the kicks help be­cause Syd­ney is re­ally quick up there and she’s able to score them quickly and so is Vi­viana, so it works well,” Rens said.

Just be­fore half­time, Ma­zon was able to break free and score her third goal of the game for Vasquez, ty­ing the game 3-3 at in­ter­mis­sion.

At the start at the sec­ond half, the Car­di­nals went on the of­fen­sive, earn­ing them­selves a cor­ner kick in the 44th minute.

Rens struck an­other solid cor­ner kick, find­ing Soler who was able to get her head on the ball and flick it into the goal, giv­ing SCCS a 4-3 ad­van­tage.

How­ever the lead wouldn’t last, as just a cou­ple min­utes later a free kick from Vasquez de­flected off of de­fen­sive mid­fielder Ali­cia Castillo, giv­ing the ball a weird spin that got past Son­nen­berg.

As both teams fought to break the tie things got a lit­tle heated, and a Vasquez player threw a bla­tant el­bow at Castillo.

Castillo went to the ground clutch­ing her throat in ob­vi­ous pain, but with only two ref­er­ees work­ing the game, they missed the play and is­sued only a yel­low card.

“When some­body hits you hard, I think they ac­tu­ally re­spect you. They are try­ing to best you in that area and I thought it got chippy at the end of the game but that’s be­cause both teams want it re­ally badly,” Phillips said. “I re­ally liked their re­sponse. I thought they rep­re­sented Christ on the field re­ally well tonight and I was re­ally proud of them for that.”

“We don’t re­tal­i­ate. We rely on God, he’s our ul­ti­mate per­son,” Boswell added. “When we’re on the field we play for him and not our­selves. We play for our team so we don’t try to re­tal­i­ate.”

With the tie, SCCS moves to 5-4-3 on the sea­son and 3-11 in league. The Car­di­nals will face an­other league op­po­nent on Tues­day, The Palm­dale Aero­space Academy, who are cur­rently un­beaten in league play.

The game is sched­uled for 3:15 at Pelona Vista Park in Palm­dale.

Phillips said his team is go­ing to work on main­tain­ing pos­ses­sion in the next few prac­tices as they pre­pare for an­other tough match against the Griffins.

“One of the things we want to work on is keep­ing pos­ses­sion so that the other team doesn’t have the ball and can’t go at you,” Phillips said. “We need to work on a that a bit be­cause it’s some­thing Aero­space is re­ally good at and if we can kind of match them in pos­ses­sion I think it’ll take a lit­tle bit out of their game.”

Dan Wat­son/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional pho­tos on sig­

Santa Clarita Chris­tian’s Siloam Bren­ner (13) steals the ball away from Vasquez de­fender Bri­anna DeSan­ti­ago (22) at Cen­tral Park on Thurs­day. The Car­di­nals tied the Mus­tangs 4-4.

Dan Wat­son/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional pho­tos on sig­

Santa Clarita Chris­tian School’s Alyssa Hopewell (15) kicks the ball away from Vasquez de­fender Va­lerie Bonales (2) at Cen­tral Park on Thurs­day. SCCS team­mate Nina Ri­de­nour (00) looks on.

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