GHS Girls Field Hockey Has Reason to Celebrate; Advance to Final
Four with Win Over Los Gatos
Mountain View – With only a handful of words, Gilroy midfielder Karlie Sandoval summed up the momentous win the Mustangs had just pulled off against Los Gatos in the quarterfinals of the CCS Field Hockey Playoffs.
“Gilroy doesn’t quit,” the senior said. “Gilroy does not quit.”
After getting down early 1-0 to No. 4 seed and defending CCS co-champion Los Gatos, the No. 5 Mustangs looked off their game. But instead of folding, Gilroy tied the game in the second half and fought through two scoreless overtimes before finally beating the Wildcats 3-1 in penalty strokes.
Gilroy (16-1-2) will now play No. 1 seed Archbishop Mitty (15-1-2) tonight at 7:45pm in the semifinals at St. Francis. It’s the first time the Mustangs have reached the CCS final four since Adam and Erin Gemar took over the Gilroy program in 1998.
“We came out flat at first,” said co-head coach Adam Gemar. “I didn’t know if we could rebound but we picked it up.”
In the best of five penalty series, Erin Magill and Sandoval each scored on their tries. Meanwhile, Gilroy goalie Stephanie Glenn shut out shots by Amanda Tran and Lindsay Herder, keeping Gilroy ahead 2-1. Then the Wildcats’ Jaimee Erickson missed her shot off the right post. That brought up Gilroy junior Kelly Perkins. Perkins’ shot glanced off the left foot of the Los Gatos goalie and in. At that point, the rest of the team rushed from the middle of the field to where Perkins was and piled on top of one another in celebration.
“My plan was to get it off the ground a little bit in the right corner. That’s where I was going and it worked,” Perkins said. “Seems to work every time.”
Glenn, who was huge for the Mustangs the entire game with 11 saves, jumped up and down in celebration and motioned for the crowd to get on its feet when the start of the penalty stroke round was announced. In reality, she was a bundle of nerves.
“I was just so nervous,” Glenn said afterward. “I was trying not to show it (to Los Gatos) because I didn’t want them to get overconfident or anything.”
The first half didn’t show good signs for Gilroy. Los Gatos came out aggressively and got several shots on goal. The Mustangs were only able to get the ball out of their territory a few times.
“We definitely got out of our game because of the speed of their defense,” Adam Gemar said.
The Wildcats broke through with 12:30 to play in the half when Herder scored on a long drive off a short corner. The ball deflected off a player on its way to the cage and bounced up over Glenn’s shoulder.
But ironically, the goal inspired Gilroy rather than get the ‘Stangs down.
“Actually, when they scored it made us feel better because we knew it wasn’t a joke anymore and we knew we had to take it serious and get one in their goal,” Glenn said.
Gilroy’s Lindsay Valadez had the Mustangs’ first shot on goal of the game five minutes into the second half. Slowly, Gilroy built up momentum. Los Gatos threatened to score again midway through the half. The Wildcats were awarded five short corners in a row over a two minute period. But Gilroy was able to fend off the attacks.
With just over nine minutes left, Gilroy got its second short corner opportunity of the game. The ‘Stangs set up Dana Schoeneman for the shot. The ball stopped short of the cage and was deflected out to Sandoval who was alone in front of the goal. She scored on the wide-open shot.
“The second I saw it was in, I was so happy,” Sandoval said. “I’ve had that goal before and so it’s just like practice. When you see it, you know what to do with it.”
After the score remained tied 1-1 after regulation, the game went into 7-minute, 7-on-7 overtimes. Gilroy was unable to get any shots on goal, but also prevented the Wildcats from scoring. In the second OT, officials gave Adam Gemar a warning card for complaining about the officiating. For much of the game, the officiating was an issue for both teams.
“It was going both ways, I can’t complain about that…My feeling is there wasn’t any consistency,” Adam Gemar said. “The best thing is if you get an official that’s wrong, at least be consistently wrong.”
Adam Gemar felt “a little luck” helped the ‘Stangs earn the win. But against Mitty, he said the team will have to be more prepared. However, Saturday’s win may have given the ‘Stangs the mental boost they needed.
“They got some new confidence they didn’t have before,” said Erin Gemar.