Out of Palma’s reach

 

Gilroy’s 3-0 win over the Palma Chieftains wasn’t exactly a hat
trick, but the Mustangs might as well have been passing a hat
around.
Everyone pitched in.
Gilroy’s 3-0 win over the Palma Chieftains wasn’t exactly a hat trick, but the Mustangs might as well have been passing a hat around.

Everyone pitched in.

Freshman forward Jorge Sanchez scored a goal in each frame and senior winger Oscar Zuniga added a final touch with a goal in the 33rd minute of the second half to seal the match.

The victory gave the Mustangs their second victory in Tri-County Athletic League play (2-0-1) and boosted the team’s overall record to 9-3-3. The Chieftains dropped to 5-4-1 overall, 1-2 in league.

While the win was somewhat expected considering Gilroy’s stature after winning the Central Coast Section title last season, the performance was at or above expectations in all aspects of the game. The Mustangs dominated possession with well timed runs and passes, played suffocating defense when Palma entered Gilroy’s half of the field, and finished shots for scores.

“The nice thing today was it was a total team effort,” GHS co-head coach Brian Hall said. “[What’s] been the key is getting our central midfielders to work together.

“I attribute that to what we’ve been doing in practice lately.”

The first goal of the game came off a cross from Zuniga on the right side. Senior midfielder Randy Moya put a head on the ball but Palma’s keeper was able to deflect the shot away. Unfortunately for the Chieftains, Sanchez was standing in the right spot at the right time. He quickly gathered the ball off of his chest, and deposited it into the back of the net from six yards out.

Sanchez’ second goal of the game came in the fourth minute of the second half. Taking a well, low-placed service from fellow freshman Daniel Amaro, Sanchez controlled the ball on the gournd before booting it across the net with his left foot. The shot was beyond the keeper’s reach and deflected off a defender before going into the cage.

Zuniga’s goal was the capper, as he sent a blistering cross from the right side of the field in front of goal. Two Palma defenders did their best to clear the pass, but it ricocheted off their legs, finding its way into the net.

“Today, we were just doing the things we’ve done in practice,” Zuniga said.

Gilroy’s Andy Moya, who did an excellent job of setting a tempo for the game as a central midfielder, said each person on the squad could take credit for the victory.

“We started controlling the ball and every single one of us was contributing,” Moya said. “I thought we played excellent as a team.”

For Palma, the scoreboard didn’t show a favorable result, but the game did give the Chieftains confidence going forward.

“I think what my team learned from this game is we can play with anybody,” Chieftains defender Max Cuevas said.

If Gilroy keeps playing this way, though, the Mustangs might start believing they can beat anybody.

“We finally looked like the team we’re capable of being,” Hall said.

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