Gilroy High field hockey’s first endeavor on its quest for a third consecutive appearance in the Central Coast Section championship game went off without a hitch in the quarterfinals Saturday, as the third-seeded Mustangs eased past No. 11 Presentation 4-0 at Lynbrook High School in San Jose.
“We just wanted to go out there and play our hardest to get to the next round,” Tayler Silacci said. “ It’s CCS you have to push it and keep the momentum up.”
Scoring chances came in droves in the first half, but the Mustangs cashed in on just one. Katrina Carter, produced a hat trick, registered her first of three goals in the 12th minute. She and Ezzie Gobea converged on a Presentation player to force a turnover deep in Panthers’ portion of the field. The duo then pieced together a perfect give-and-go sequence, with Carter hammering home the score.
“We have really good team chemistry, so we kind of know where we are going,” Carter said. “So I saw her running through and I passed it to her. She knew I was going to be at the goal and just passed it across.”
While the defensive third of the Mustangs’ lineup – Alex Kachakji, Kiara Santamaria and Emma Leach – rarely allowed the Panthers to leak into striking distance, the Mustangs continued to press on offense. Six minutes later Cassidy Andersen set up Morgan Rogers in the circle, but that shot was saved. Monica Marrazzo, Carter and Rogers again each had shots just miss the target.
“For us, every game is do or die. I like their performance. Everything we saw was good,” GHS head coach Adam Gemar said. “We had good play out of Monica, Morgan had a good game and I thought Taylor Riewerts did well. Everybody got to play. It was a good team effort.”
GHS, which will play in its fourth consecutive semifinal, lowered the boom in the second half.
“We needed to get it in our heads that we could do better and score more,” Santamaria said.
Rogers assisted on Carter’s second goal four minutes into the second, then tallied one of her own two minutes later to inflate the lead to 3-0. Carter capped the hat trick with two minutes to play.
Gilroy will be right back at Lynbrook on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. for the semifinals. No. 2-seed Mitty is the next challenge. The two teams tied once and the Monarchs defeated the Mustangs once in the regular season. Mitty blanked Lynbrook, 4-0 on Saturday.
“I think it’s definitely going to be a hard game. But if we keep our form, our positions and play really hard, I think we can pull through,” Santamaria said.
NOTES: No. 1 Los Gatos, which needed double overtime to defeat No. 9 Leigh, plays No. 4 St. Francis, 5-4 winners in penalty strokes over Saratoga, in the other semifinal.