SOCCER: Contreras scores twice in Mustangs 3-0 victory

Gilroy's Connie Contreras, pictured in a game earlier this

Despite Notre Dame using the tactic of stacking its side with eight defenders at all times, the Gilroy High girls soccer team and its potent offense could not be completely contained in a 3-0 Mustangs victory on Friday night in Gilroy.
The prevent-defense of sorts is supposed slow down the outside-in attack of Gilroy’s Cynthia Sanchez and Taylor Slattery. The two speedsters found ways around the ploy.
“Their game plan was to limit our speed down the side,” GHS head coach Jose Hernandez said. “But what it did was allow our attacking mids to use the middle of the field. We were able to control the tempo and I was happy with the adjustments the girls made.”
The contest played out much closer than the first time the two squads played. There GHS lead 4-0 at the half and won 7-1. But the Mustangs dealt with the defensive strategy of the Tri-County Athletic League counterparts accordingly, utilizing the extra space to manufacture their scoring chances. And there were plenty. The damage could’ve been much more than three goals, were it not for Spirits goalie Celina Medina, who gave her team a chance with 23 saves, including 11 in the first half, which was scoreless until the 40th minute.
“She did a great job,” Hernandez said of the opposing goalie.”
With about 30 seconds to play in the first half, Gilroy’s Connie Contreras found room around Medina, taking a pretty feed from Morgan Rogers into the penalty area. With a defender nipping at her heels, Contreras drifted left, attracted the keeper out of position and delivered a left-footer to the far post for a 1-0 lead. Kiara Santamaria was also credited with an assist on the play.
“Morgan went wide, I cut in, she gave me a great pass and I took a shot,” Contreras said of her sixth goal of the year.
The Mustangs continued to pepper the net with shots and Medina kept deflecting the raid. However, midway through the second half, freshman Alexi Slattery lifted GHS up 2-0, knee-high shot snuck between the near post and Medina, who had gone down to a crouch. Monique Barragan and Cynthia Sanchez had the assists.
Contreras added to the total with her second goal of the night, taking an Alexi Slattery offering 4-yards from the goal line and banged it home.
“We can be unstoppable and a scoring machine at times,” Contreras said. “My teammates all do an amazing job.”
The Mustangs (9-5-2 overall, 7-0-1) remain one of two unbeaten teams left in league along with Salinas (9-1-5, 6-0-3.)

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