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GHS Field Hockey Wins Again; Poised for Move in CCS
Gilroy – Gilroy’s 1-0 win over St. Ignatius at home Saturday was a big victory.

So big, that co-head coach Adam Gemar could admit half-joking in the post-game talk that he almost cried.

As the clock wound down to the final minutes of the game, it looked like the Mustangs and the Wildcats might end in a 0-0 tie.

“I was thinking about what I would say sitting in the (post-game) circle if we didn’t score,” said senior Heather Link after the game. “I thought, I really don’t want to give that speech and try to sat we had a good game.”

She didn’t have to.

On a short corner opportunity with about 2:30 left to play, junior Dana Schoeneman fired a shot that deflected off a St. Ignatius defender and into the goal. She was assisted by sophomore Amanda Spellman and Link.

At first, the short corner play appeared to be foiled. Link sent a pass from out of bounds to Spellman, who stopped the ball for Schoeneman. But on her shot, Schoeneman’s stick didn’t strike the ball full-on. Her stick hit that of the St. Ignatius defender rushing at her after glancing off the ball. However, the sophomore was there for the rebound shot that bounced in front of the goal and scored.

For Schoeneman, it was a revenge goal.

Minutes earlier on a similar short corner play, Schoeneman drove a hard shot right past the St. Ignatius goalie. As Schoeneman and her teammates celebrated, the shot was called too high and no good by the referees.

“I was thinking, ‘I’m going to get that back and get it in,'” she said.

Gilroy (14-1-2) was able to keep its endurance and pressure up in the final minutes and come away with the win. Schoeneman credited that ability, which the Mustangs had lacked earlier in the season against other top CCS teams, with the extra conditioning the team has been doing in practice.

“We’ve been running a lot,” Schoeneman said. “We don’t even feel tired anymore.”

The Mustangs’ improved fitness showed not only at the end of the game, but in the rest of it as well. For the most part, Gilroy was in charge of the pace and controlled the offense.

The closest St. Ignatius (9-6-1) came to scoring was in the beginning of the second half, when the Wildcats put a flurry of shots on goal. But Gilroy goalie Stephanie Glenn made several saves, thwarting the effort.

After the game, co-head coach Erin Gemar called the her team’s effort “one of the best whole team performances this season.”

Added senior captain Karlie Sandoval, “You could count on every single player to be there…Nobody ever let down.”

St. Ignatius, which plays in the toughest field hockey league in the Bay Area, the Mt. Hamilton division of the Blossom Valley Athletic League, narrowly lost to undefeated Archbishop Mitty 2-1 Friday. However, against Gilroy, the Wildcats were without two of their best players, Liz Dobbs and Caroline Lopuck.

“We won’t take those injuries lightly,” said Erin Gemar. “We’re not No. 1 yet. But we’re among the top teams in the four leagues.”

Still, St. Ignatius coach Kim Russell was impressed with Gilroy’s quality of play.

“I’m impressed that they’ve been able to maintain such a high level of play,” Russell said, noting that the MTAL league doesn’t have the level of competition that the BVAL does.

The Mustangs travel to York today, where they will be playing to defend their undefeated MTAL title. On Friday, the Mustangs may have another shot at St. Ignatius. Both teams have room for more games before the CCS playoffs start in a couple weeks and the coaches were considering a rematch.