First league win in two years for girls

It was like a bad dream.
Playing in the torrential downpour that soaked the field at
Mustang Stadium Monday night, the Gilroy girls’ soccer team was
again dominating a TCAL opponent
– much like it had at Hollister last week.
It was like a bad dream.

Playing in the torrential downpour that soaked the field at Mustang Stadium Monday night, the Gilroy girls’ soccer team was again dominating a TCAL opponent – much like it had at Hollister last week.

But as with the ‘Baler game – which the Mustangs lost despite outshooting their opponents, 40-7 – Gilroy found itself trailing again when Notre Dame found the net five minutes into the second half and took a 1-0 lead.

“After they scored that first one, I was like, ‘Oh no, not again,'” said GHS midfielder Amanda Bruce. “We never quit, though.”

And this time it paid off.

With 15 minutes gone in the second, Gilroy’s Brittany Barnes knocked in a score after the ball slipped out of the hands of the Notre Dame ‘keeper and was free for the taking in front of goal.

Then, with just five minutes left in the match and a tie very much a possibility, GHS coach Jose Hernandez tried a shift his team hadn’t worked on all season, not even in practice.

Having noticed something while watching the Hollister tape, he moved Kristen Figueroa to defense, Stephanie Glenn out to wing and Nubia Diaz De Leon from defense to forward.

Within seconds, Diaz De Leon delivered a powerful shot on goal that just missed. Taking notice, Notre Dame focused much of its attention on the new forward.

“That’s when we caught them by surprise,” Hernandez said.

Seeing an opening – and seeing the ball stuck in the mud inside the box – Bruce, the team’s leader in assists, launched the game-winning shot with less than three minutes remaining.

“We were out there and it was raining so hard, and we really didn’t want a tie,” Bruce said as she wiped mud off her face.

“We should’ve won the other day against Hollister … we just couldn’t get it in.”

They got it in this time. And as a result, they got their first league win in two years – after suffering through last year’s 0-10 slide.

“I’m glad the girls pulled it off,” Hernandez said. “To me, this was a must-win. We couldn’t go down 0-2 … not in a league that’s this tough.”

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