GHS field hockey wins league opener with 1-0 nod over York;
GILROY – Coach Erin Gemar thought she was reliving the same day as her Lady Mustang stickhandlers were hosting league-foe York. Her team took an early one-goal lead and, despite controlling the ball in the attack zone for most of the game, had to hold on for a 1-0 victory.
It was Tuesday again – just like Tuesday, Sept. 9 when Gilroy defeated York at Gilroy High behind an Amanda Cooper first-half strike. But this particular Tuesday, Sept. 23 meant more to the Lady Mustangs since it gave them their first league win of the T-CAL season.
“Today was frustrating. It was a lot like our last game against York,” Gemar said. “For that much time in the attack zone, I thought we could do more with the ball then just play with it.”
This time it was senior captain Elena Ramirez who put in the game-winner only 50 seconds into the contest – stuffing in a crossing pass from teammate Selida Banuelas to give her team an early spark.
“I got a pass and I just flicked it in,” said Ramirez of her quick strike. “I thought we were going to have more goals, but the other team plays good defense. They were just playing real aggressive.”
Ramirez was the only player on either team to find the back of the net. Even though Gilroy controlled the action, once again York had a last minute threat – just like a last-second short corner that went awry to end the first meeting.
The second encounter brought out another late offensive flurry from York – which rushed the Gilroy net with three straight scoring opportunities only to be brushed aside by senior netminder Sam Sicard and the Lady Mustang defense.
“York could have scored easy. They had three chances at the end,” Gemar said. “Our defense won this game. Morgan Morales played good defense when we needed her to. Janell Perez played strong the whole game. Heather Link, a sophomore, played strong for us.”
The Lady Mustangs (6-1 overall, 1-0 in T-CAL) are riding high heading into Friday’s second league home game against Carmel at 3:30 p.m.
“We’re really confident when we step on the field,” Ramirez said.
Sophomore Karlie Sandoval was given the stick of the game for Gilroy – shining in her new position of center midfield for the Lady Mustangs.
“Karlie’s a real smart player. She’s able to force obstruction calls and is consistent on her flicks. She has really good vision,” said Gemar, who expects even more from her players. “It wasn’t our best game. Some individuals had moments of brilliance (but) as a team, we’re not playing the level we’re capable of.”