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HomeLifestyleSaugus boys take league opener over Valencia, 1-0

Saugus boys take league opener over Valencia, 1-0

Saugus junior Alejandro Zalamea scored the lone objective because the Centurions (1-0-1, 1-0) received their Foothill League opener, 1-0, over the Valencia Vikings (1-1, 0-1) at Saugus Excessive on Thursday. 

Zalamea scored his objective with slightly below 28 minutes to go within the second half, latching on to a go down the correct wing from senior Cole Parker, which pulled Valencia’s goalkeeper out of his objective and allowed Zalamea to roll the ball into the left nook. 

Zalamea, who got here on in its place in the beginning of the second half, was one in all Saugus head coach Seth Groller’s tactical adjustments within the second half, pushing his group into the broader areas to place extra stress on the Valencia protection. 

“[Groller] informed me to belief the system,” Zalamea mentioned. “You realize, trusting the group, open extensive help, make the runs that’s wanted, undergo the open house, received previous, I used to be in a position to rating that objective.” 

The primary half noticed each groups battling within the midfield. Photographs have been few and much between, which prompted Groller to make some adjustments at halftime to get his forwards into higher attacking positions. 

“We recognized a number of issues within the first half the place we felt like we had alternatives however we simply weren’t exposing sure areas of the sector and sure gamers,” Groller mentioned. “Second half, we did that lots higher. We have been profitable the ball a bit bit greater up the sector, and so our level of assault began a lot greater for us.” 

Saugus had 4 pictures on objective within the second half after recording only one within the first half. 

Valencia head coach Jose Villafan, in control of simply his second match in what’s his first 12 months on the helm, mentioned that after what he thought was a good first half, the Vikings merely weren’t prepared for the elevated stress that the Centurions confirmed within the second half. 

“In all probability the most important concern for us was attempting to get away from that stress,” Villafan mentioned. “So, we’ll work tactically and technically on learn how to determine that and what we have to do to make it higher. The stress was intense, they usually didn’t allow us to construct out, so we simply have to have the ability to do a greater job at figuring out and skipping these strains of stress.” 

The Vikings weren’t with out their probabilities, although they did come towards the run of play for essentially the most half. Saugus freshman Ethan Murillo was an enormous a part of denying these probabilities in objective, popping out to kill off counters whereas additionally figuring out when to remain residence and let his defenders clear up in entrance of objective. Murillo made solely two saves, each within the first half, although a lot of his goal-saving actions have been denying the possibility of a shot reasonably than defending a shot. 

“As a freshman stepping in between the posts, it’s one thing that’s fairly particular to see,” Groller mentioned. “He’s been proving himself in observe and within the scrimmages and preseason video games, and undoubtedly stored the clear sheet for us, together with our protection.” 

Murillo was arduous to succeed in in objective because of the power of the Saugus midfielders. Seniors Gage Fritz and Dominic Varsam and junior Andrew Alfaro have been in all places within the center third of the sector, reducing out Valencia’s assaults and beginning assaults of their very own. 

“[They] actually simply did an superior job of contesting each single 50-50 ball and profitable most of them, and giving us that leg up that was large for us,” Groller mentioned. 

Saugus will keep at residence for its subsequent match when it hosts West Ranch on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. 

Valencia will host Castaic at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, and Villafan is hoping his attacking gamers will have the ability to showcase their abilities and seize the Vikings’ first league win of the season. 

“Hopefully, if we might get the ball to our offensive gamers, that are very explosive, we’d be very harmful,” Villafan mentioned. 

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