The Gilroy field hockey team opened its season on a high note, despite some offseason challenges.
The Mustangs tied 2-2 with St. Ignatius Prep Wednesday in Pacifica. Gilroy outshot its opponents 9-7. The result, Mustangs head coach Adam Gemar said, was a positive indicator for the season.
Gemar said he was impressed with his team’s performance despite having limited 11-on-11 practices due to construction of the Gilroy High track and football field.
All four goals were scored off short corners. St. Ignatius struck first, but Gilroy quickly answered. The hosts notched another goal to take a 2-1 lead over the Mustangs and though they were down, they were not out.
“It was a good challenge to come from behind twice; it showed great perseverance by our team,” Gemar said.
Ellie Sausen and Maddy Cox “mopped up” the rebounds off the initial corner shots, which Gemar was especially pleased to see given the team’s limited practice with corners.
Senior Illeana Garcia was named Player of the Game for Gilroy for displaying stellar defense, which took away scoring opportunities for St. Ignatius, Gemar said.
While it was a good start, the Mustangs still have obstacles to overcome as their season progresses.
“The hardest part of the game for us now as players and coaches is the ability to translate a real (11-on-11) situation to practicing the majority of the time indoor (with a) 5-on-5 situation,” Gemar said via email. “But it’s an interesting/fun challenge.”
The Mustangs (0-0-1) will host Monterey at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at Christopher High School.
Cougars blank Live Oak
Christopher’s group effort lifted it to a 4-0 win over Live Oak Wednesday at home.
Erin Mank, Clare McCarry, Nicole Villanueva and Alyssa Landeros each scored a goal for the Cougars. Emily Fredricks was named Player of the Game for a stellar performance on defense.
“(The) team played really well, despite the heat once again,” coach Dani Hemeon said. “(There was) a lot of good passing.”
Christopher (2-1) will play Willow Glen at 3:30 p.m. Friday in its final nonleague contest.
Christopher sweeps Harbor
Wednesday’s game between Christopher and Harbor came down to the wire. The Pirates came within two points of forcing a Set 4, but it was the Cougars who walked away the victor.
Christopher won in straight sets 25-21, 25-20, 26-24 behind Samantha Dolan’s 17 kills. Katelyn Viray added nine kills and a team-high 22 digs against Harbor.
Setter Christa Arroyo racked up 34 assists, 11 digs, two kills and an ace.
The Cougars (6-2) will play their third game in as many days at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Mt. Madonna in Watsonville.
GIRLS WATER POLO
Cougars dominate Gunderson in opener
The Christopher girls water polo team knew it would face obstacles entering the Monterey Bay League’s Gabilan Division this season, but it met those head on in the season opener. The Cougars notched a dominant 18-5 win over Gunderson Sept. 4 at home.
Two-time league MVP Malaya Santos led the Cougars with six goals. Right behind her was the reigning Freshman MVP Sierra Ceballos, who scored five times for Christopher. Sophomores Maria Higginbotham had three goals, while Maccy Soliman had two and Paige Gallardo and Brianna Burrell-Lewis scored one apiece.
Christopher built an 8-2 lead at halftime, which head coach Jim Shuster credits to the team’s strong defense. The Cougars brought in their starting JV players to start the third and the team continued to score.
“This season opener brought about our strengths and weaknesses,” Shuster said. “We found that our speed is unmatched and our abilities to anticipate what was about to happen gave us the edge we needed.”
Christopher (1-0) will take on Aptos at 4 p.m. today. The team will then compete in the tough Carmel Varsity Tournament Saturday.
Find out when and where your favorite Cougar and Mustang teams are playing this week:
9.10—Tennis at Watsonville, 4 p.m.; Girls Golf at Notre Dame-Salinas, 4 p.m.; Girls water polo vs. Aptos, 4 p.m.; Volleyball at Mt. Madonna, 6:30 p.m.
9.11—Field hockey at Willow Glen, 3:30 p.m.; Football at Live Oak, 7 p.m.
9.12—Girls Water Polo at Carmel Varsity Tournament, TBD
9.10—Girls golf vs. San Benito, 3 p.m.; Girls water polo at Alvarez, 4 p.m.
9.11—Football vs. Sobrato, 7:30 p.m. at Christopher High