Cream of the Crop

Gilroy’s Karlie Sandoval beats a York defender to the ball.

Gilroy Field Hockey Defeats York in Battle of League Leaders
Gilroy – In back-to-back home games, the Gilroy field hockey team appeared to be in cruise control.

Meanwhile, the Mustangs’ opponents were stuck in neutral.

Gilroy stayed a perfect 6-0 in MTAL play by shutting out Santa Catalina 9-0 on Monday and the league’s second-place team York 7-0 Tuesday.

Once again, the Gilroy scoring attack was well-balanced. Gilroy (7-1-1) had five different scorers in each game.

“It’s cool,” said Tuesday’s Player of the Game, sophomore Lindsay Valadez, about her team’s many scoring options. “(Coaches) Adam and Erin (Gemar) always tell you to expect the ball when you least expect it and shoot.”

In the Santa Catalina game, Kelly Perkins and Rushelle Preeshl each had hat tricks. Heather Link, Jackie Moreno and Dana Schoeneman all had one goal apiece. Overall, Gilroy outshot the Cougars 18-0.

“We played really well,” said junior Erin Magill about Monday’s game. “We had good passing.”

Gilroy’s signature passing game continued to be solid on Tuesday against York.

“Our communication was awesome,” said junior Amanda Spellman, who led the scoring along with Valadez with two goals. “We’ve started to jel now that we’re halfway through the season.”

Gilroy had a 5-0 lead on York by halftime on goals by Perkins, Valadez, Magill, Spellman and Sandoval.

Co-head coach Erin Gemar said the team had a goal to score off 50 percent of its short corner opportunities. The Mustangs did better than that, converting 5-of-7 short corners into points against York. The Mustangs scored on 5-of-6 chances in the first half alone, including on one by Karlie Sandoval off a newly-installed play. She was asissted by Preeshl and Schoeneman.

“In theory, (that play) has just been rockin’,” said co-head coach Adam Gemar. “It’s kind of a lot of passes, but if they all go through, it’s bound to work.”

In the second half, Valadez and Spellman scored their second goals.

This was Valadez’s first multi-goal game. The secret?

“I’m usually really stressed (before the game),” she said. “Today I was really loose.”

Gilroy reeled off 15 shots on goal while limiting York to just two. Gilroy’s assist leaders were Magill with four and Sandoval and Preeshl, each with two.

Another highlight of the York game was that the Gemars got a chance to coach on the same sideline as former player Sam Sicard, who graduated in 2004. Sicard is now an assistant coach to the York varsity team.

“I think that Gilroy is getting good, man,” laughed Sicard after the game. “Gilroy is a force.”

“We have to win the league to go to CCS,” Magill said.

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