Gilroy scores the game-winning goal with five seconds left
Gilroy – Scoring two second-half goals is normally a prescription for disaster.
For Gilroy’s girls’ water polo team, it was just enough Wednesday as the Mustangs edged visiting Carmel 10-9 in a Tri-County Athletic League encounter.
Jenny Ailes scored the game-winning goal with five seconds remaining as GHS (4-3-1 overall, 1-1 in TCAL) staved off a determined Padres’ comeback.
The score was set up by Megan Collett’s steal. As Collett and Ailes advanced on the goal, the Padres were called for a 5-meter foul. That was all Ailes needed.
“I was thinking ‘what a relief,’ ” Ailes said of the free shot. “I was confident. I saw the goalie cheating right, so I threw it left. Until (the 5-meter foul), I didn’t know what to think.”
Credit Carmel with making the necessary adjustments during the second half. Trailing 8-5 at halftime, the Padres comeback was fueled by Kayla Curry, whose goal with 2:21 left tied the game, 9-9. Carmel was also helped by some tough saves by goalie Sarah Covello.
“We lost our momentum,” Mustangs’ coach Andy Been said. “They were starting to beat us to the ball and defending Jenny well. Two goals in the second half is usually not enough to win.”
But GHS was playing tough defense as well. When Lauren Van Herk moved out of the goal to 2-meter defense, the Padres found shots more difficult as well. Plus, Talia Lauber played well in the goal and several Carmel shots hit the post or were over the net.
Ailes, a junior who leads the team in scoring, had seven goals. Collett had two, including a nifty backhander in the second period. Lauren Beatty completed the Mustangs’ scoring.
GHS coach Andy Been knew the team was in good shape when it was awarded the free shot.
“She hasn’t missed one like that all season,” Been said. “Their goalie did a good job, but I felt we earned the win. Our team is getting better and earning respect with each victory. They’re starting to realize they’re as good as the other teams in the league.”
At the same time, he told the girls they’ve got to take advantage of scoring chances.
“We had so many opportunities,” Been said. “We’ve got to have more of a killer instinct.”
And, in most cases, score more than two goals in one half.