Through 52 minutes of the Gilroy High field hockey team’s Mount Hamilton Division showdown with first-place Archbishop Mitty on Wednesday, overtime appeared to be the likely destination.
That was until Monarchs’ senior Clemence Couteau altered the contest’s course, knocking home a deflected ball in the circle with 8:01 remaining in the second half to lift Mitty to a 1-0 victory.
“I told them one goal was going to win the game, I was hoping it was us,” GHS head coach Adam Gemar said, whose Mustangs played with just three substitutes and without forward Kaylana Mah. “We had good momentum coming in. Last couple practices were good. These guys were up for it. The intensity was good, they are playing out of their minds right now – as their warm-up song says.”
The Mustangs’ ‘A’ game was needed with Mitty (13-0 overall, 9-0 in league) in town, a squad that has allowed just five goals to opponents and has yet to see defeat, let alone a tie in 2011.
“And we were right with them,” Gemar said.
A relatively quiet, feel-it-out first half yielded little action. Mitty did earn three short-corner tries and had the lone scoring chance, which GHS goalie Marissa Mazzone turned aside.
The second 30 minutes, though, had a different tempo – and it started with GHS.
The Mustangs (8-2-4 overall, 4-2-4 in league) had their best opportunities in the initial 10 minutes of the second half to sneak one past the Monarchs’ stingy defense and goalie Lindsay Mewes.
A 60-yard dash up field initiated by Katrina Carter and continued by Monica Marrazzo earned Gilroy’s first short-corner. Though the try didn’t directly lead to a shot, the Mustangs’ pressure in their end contributed to Kristina Chuck having a quality look at the cage 30 seconds later. Her shot, though, went wide.
One minute later, Carter unleashed a low lining shot from left of the cage. However, Mewes had the angle and came up with a right-leg kick save to deny Carter.
“That was a rocket and a great save,” Gemar said. “That wasn’t a half-flub either.”
The latter portion of the second half belonged to the Monarchs, and after a series of saves from Mazzone and two consecutive short-corner opportunities, Couteau broke through.
“I’m mad about the goal but I thought we played a lot better, we really stepped it up,” Marrazzo said. “We were connecting (passes) better and played as a team. It was a good match, very even. Could have gone either way.”
Four games remain on the league schedule (St. Francis, Los Gatos, Presentation and Leigh), the first three are home tilts starting with the Lancers on Monday at 7 p.m.