BSoc: Cate shakes off test from Saugus

Cate's Ryan Borchardt is chased by teammates after scoring the game's first goal on Friday. (Presidio Sports Photos)

Cate’s Ryan Borchardt is chased by teammates after scoring the game’s first goal on Friday. (Presidio Sports Photos)


A strong Saugus side was stunned by a stronger second half from Cate in Friday’s CIF Division 4 matchup as the Rams scored three goals in the final 40 minutes to pocket a 3-1 playoff victory.

Saugus looked like the better team in the first half, controlling possession and creating chances with their physical play.

Cate head coach Peter Mack saw the same thing and thought his team simply needed to make a couple adjustments.

“We were out of sync in the first half and spent a lot of time defending,” Mack said. “We didn’t respond well to the way they were flooding one side of the field and pressuring us so when we had a chance to regroup at halftime and understand what they were trying to do and how we were going to counter that.”

The Rams received immediate results as Ryan Borchardt found the back of the net 60 seconds into the second half. Geoffrey Acheampong scored again in the 56th minute and Iman Fardghassemi gave Cate a 3-0 lead in the 65th minute.

“We were waiting for the second half. We got it 0-0 and then we just showed them how tough we are,” Fardghassemi said. “We broke them down, we played fast, and we got it to the corner and scored some goals.”

As usual for the Rams, UC Santa Barbara recruit Geoffrey Acheampong was the playmaker. The senior midfielder won possession 35 yards away from the Saugus goal and muscled a short pass to Borchardt who was near the top of the penalty box. Borchardt took a touch to control the pass and took a shot that beat the keeper to the lower left corner.

Fans had barely settled back down for the second half when Cate suddenly was in the lead. Fifteen minutes later, Acheampong pounded home a highlight-worthy volley from 20 yards out.

“I definitely think some things came a little easier (in the second half),” said Fardghassemi. “We found some gaps, we made some adjustments at halftime – I think that helped the most. Once we made those adjustments, the game opened up a lot.”

With Cate ahead 3-0, Saugus’ Kevin Rivas scored the Centurions’ lone goal on a free kick in the 71st minute.

Cate advances to the second round on Wednesday when the Rams will face Bellflower, a 2-1 winner over Lakeside.