The biggest event for the Gilroy field hockey team Thursday was
supposed to be its first-round Central Coast Section playoff game
against Del Mar.
Gilroy – The biggest event for the Gilroy field hockey team Thursday was supposed to be its first-round Central Coast Section playoff game against Del Mar.
But then co-head coach Erin Gemar went into labor late Wednesday night.
By early Thursday morning at St. Louise Hospital, co-head coaches Adam and Erin Gemar gave birth to their first child, a baby boy. Kai Gemar was born at 3:15am, weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces.
Twelve hours later, new father Adam Gemar was on the Garcia-Elder Sports Complex field guiding the fifth-seeded Mustangs to a 3-0 victory over No.12 Del Mar (9-4-4).
Gilroy now moves on to play No. 4 Los Gatos in the quarterfinals at St. Francis in Mountain View Saturday at 3:15pm.
“All day that’s what we were thinking about, the baby being born,” said junior Megan McAvoy, who scored two of the Mustangs’ three goals. “We all had pictures on our cell phones of the baby. But when it came to game time, we had to stay focused.”
Added senior Karlie Sandoval, “We all knew that we had to make this a good day and follow through and play our best.”
Periodically during the game, Erin called Adam’s cell phone from the hospital, asking for updates. But there really wasn’t much to say, other than that Gilroy was in control.
“They played almost so well that I was able to stand back here and not really even coach as they played. So even at halftime I was like, ‘I really don’t have anything to say,'” Adam Gemar said. “It was nice to sit back and watch and have fun.”
Gilroy (16-1-2) scored all of its goals in the first half. Despite what the low score indicated, Gilroy controlled the ball and dominated Del Mar for majority of the game.
In the opening minutes, Gilroy overwhelmed Del Mar’s side of the field. At the 18:36 mark, the ‘Stangs finally broke through for their first goal when sophomore Lindsay Valadez whacked a shot from several feet outside the circle across to junior Kelly Perkins just left of the goal. Perkins finished by directing the ball into the goal.
Two minutes later, McAvoy scored her first goal off an assist from freshman Laura Spellman and put Gilroy up 2-0.
Del Mar continued to be hampered by Gilroy’s swarming play and several unfavorable whistles. As the first half approached the 10-minute mark, sophomore Amanda Spellman took the ball up the middle to the goal and got a shot off. She couldn’t convert, but again McAvoy was there in front of the goal and finished the play. That gave Gilroy the 3-0 lead it would hold all through the second half and for the win.
“We played well. We could have played better and we are going to play better against Los Gatos,” said sophomore Dana Schoeneman. “More intensity.”
Los Gatos will be a tough test. When the two teams met earlier in the season, the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
“It’s not going to be a blowout or anything. In the beginning of the season we almost won 1-0, but we let up in the end and they tied it up,” Sandoval said. “So this time we’ve just got to come out stronger and be ready.”
Adam Gemar feels the gap between Gilroy and the other top CCS teams is smaller this year that it has been.
“Our team is a lot better than it’s been in past,” Adam Gemar said. “Their work ethic is really good in the field. I was telling them earlier that they’re the hardest working team I’ve coached so far.”
By Saturday, the other half of the Gilroy coaching staff should be on the field, Adam Gemar said.
“Unless something feels bad, Erin will be there for the second game.”