Soaring high

Gilroy's Ben Alcantar, right, and Hollister Jose Vasquez go up

That loss to Live Oak last week really didn’t sit well with the
Gilroy High boys soccer team.
By Joshua Staloch

Hollister – That loss to Live Oak last week really didn’t sit well with the Gilroy High boys soccer team.

Since the 2-0 loss to the Acorns, the Mustangs have been on a tear – both offensively and defensively.

Last Thursday, they routed Salinas, 10-0. Then they traveled to Hollister on Monday and blew away the Haybalers, 7-0.

“These last two games, since the loss to Live Oak, the guys kind of re-dedicated themselves,” said GHS co-head coach Brian Hall. “But we’ve still got a lot of little things to work on, get a little more consistent.

“But we’re creating the chances, so I’m proud of the boys for that.”

The Mustangs made short work of the ‘Balers – scoring early and scoring often.

Early on, Gilroy (10-2-1/3-1) controlled the ball and put plenty of pressure on Hollister’s defense. Then, in the 20th minute, Ben Alcantar scored off an assist from Emmanuel Nava.

After that, the rout was on.

Only one minute later, the Mustangs again wove their way through the Hollister defense and Alfonso Motagalvan found Everavdo Diaz de Leon with a pass across the field that got into the Haybaler net for another goal.

Alcantar notched his second score 10 minutes later to put the Mustangs up 3-0, as the Balers continued to struggle just to advance the ball into Gilroy territory.

Alcantar, who leads the area in assists, has now tallied five goals in the last two games.

Minutes later, Motagalvan switched from assisting to scoring, getting up in the air in front of the Hollister net and heading the ball past the keeper to give the Mustangs a 4-0 halftime lead.

Hollister’s sophomore goalkeeper, Eddie Trujillo, remained busy in the second half. Gilroy quickly set up shop on the Balers’ side of the field and got off a blistering shot on goal that Trujillo had to go up high to get.

Swatting the shot away was a nice effort, but Motagalvan was there to take the rebound off its bounce and fire it into the open side of the net for a 5-0 lead.

Senior forward Javier Canales added a pair of late goals to solidify the GHS win.

“I think after the first 10 minutes of the game, once we got our rhythm going, we started to look like a soccer team,” Hall said. “We’ve got some skilled players and once the team got going, those skilled players started to exhibit their class as players.”

On Saturday, the Mustangs look to continue their recent hot streak with a noon home game against 7-7 Palma.

Another tie for girls

For the second consecutive match, the GHS girls’ soccer team ended up with a tie against a league contender. After playing to a 2-2 draw with Live Oak last week, the Mustangs posted a scoreless tie at Salinas Saturday.

As a result, Gilroy (11-4-2/2-1-2) remains deadlocked with the Cowboys for second place in TCAL.

“It was a tough game … we were pretty evenly matched in terms of speed and ability,” GHS head coach Jose Rodriguez said. “The only thing that was dissatisfying to me was some mistakes I made coaching – not doing a good job matching our strengths with their weaknesses. But that’s all part of the learning curve.

“I’m proud of the effort of the girls, though. They played hard. We just need to find a way to turn those ties into wins.”

The performance of Mustang goalie Sarah Hugo was especially noteworthy. The freshmen tallied 12 saves for her first shutout of the league season.

“She played an excellent game for us,” Rodriguez said.

For Gilroy, it’s now onto tonight’s 5:30pm rematch with Hollister at Mustang Stadium. The Haybalers, despite being outshot by an enormous margin, squaked out a 1-0 victory over the ‘Stangs back on Jan. 6.

– Brett Edgerton contributed to this report

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