Fresh off CCS appearance, Gilroy poised for repeat

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Mustangs junior Maddie Eastus scored 24 goals this season. Photo by Robert Eliason.

A 3-0 loss to Menlo School in the opening round of the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs couldn’t put a damper on what the Gilroy High girls soccer team accomplished this season. The Mustangs, who accumulated the most points to earn the No. 1 seed, fell to the No. 8 Knights (10-4-7) last Saturday at Gilroy High. 

Despite the defeat, Gilroy finished the season 14-6-1 and won the Pacific Coast League’s Mission Division championship, clinching its first playoff berth in seven years. Gilroy will graduate four senior starters—Tatianna Cardoza, Olivia Bozzo, Amaya Raoof and Chelsea Garcia—but will return everyone else, including Mission Division Offensive MVP Maddie Eastus, who along with Bozzo created the few scoring opportunities the Mustangs had against Menlo School. 

Gilroy coach Roney Cardoza said this was the breakthrough season the program needed, and it is primed to have a nice run beyond this season. 

“I’m confident in the future they’ll do a lot better,” he said. “The future looks great for Gilroy High School. Things have finally turned around.”

Eastus scored 24 goals this season, and she got in the penalty area and placed a nice shot on goal in the 65th minute after Bozzo did a sensational job stealing the ball away deep in the Menlo School end. Five minutes later, Bozzo hit an absolute laser from 33 yards away that clanked off the top crossbar, after Eastus had done a great job of controlling the ball on the left sideline before making the pass to Bozzo. 

The Mustangs received contributions from several other players, including freshman Liliana Lerma, Ashley Trujillo and Raoof, just to name a few.