Prep Field Hockey: Cougars pummel York in home opener

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Christopher's Sherelle Butler makes a pass toward the goal during their Oct. 14 game against York.

GILROY—Christopher didn’t let the howling, punishing wind and the overcast skies rain on its parade.
The Cougars blanked York 10-0 in their first home game of the season. They played their first 11 games on the road while awaiting completion of the Don Christopher Sports Complex.
“Yesterday we practiced out here and I thought ‘wow, they look really good’ and they did today as well,” Cougar coach Lia Peterson said.“They looked like they’ve been playing on it for a long time and it was nice. They passed well, they played well, they communicated well—we had the whole package today and it was nice.”
Erin Mank was a force to be reckoned with on offense, scoring four goals on seven attempts. She scored three goals of the Cougars’ seven second half goals, including one just four minutes into the second to the far side that sparked a scoring frenzy and gave Christopher a 4-0 lead at that point.
“I was just trying to play smart with the ball and make sure that I was looking for the passes, but also looking to pass the ball up the field,” Mank said. “I was just trying to think before I actually made my moves.”
Sherelle Butler scored less than a minute later while in motion in front of the net. Mank poked in another goal less than two minutes later and Isabel Medina quickly scored the team’s fourth goal in less than 10 minutes with a long shot originating near the sideline.
“I never in my wildest dreams expected the score that we had,” Peterson said. “I thought it would be a score of maybe 3-0, 4-0, but I never thought be it’d 10. I kept rotating everyone in and gave everyone an opportunity. They impressed me; they exceeded my expectations. They did really well.”
Butler’s goal was her first since Oct. 2 when she scored against Notre Dame. Before that, she hadn’t found the back of the net since the team’s Sept. 19 game—also a 10-0 win over Santa Catalina—and said she was focused on the task at hand.
“I don’t know if anything was going through my mind, I was just like ‘ball, ball, ball, ball, I’ve got to get the ball.’ I was just thinking about the pass,” Butler said. “I love playing field hockey, it’s really fun and just awesome.”
Melanie Tanaka scored her 10th and 11th goals of the year in the 6th and 48th minutes. Her first came off an assist from Butler as she finished the play in front of the net for the Cougars’ final goal of the first half. Tanaka found herself in front of the net again for her second and poked it in to improve her team’s lead to 9-0.
Medina drew first blood for Christopher less than four minutes in and Mank added a goal from outside the circle less than a minute later as her team went up 2-0.
Jordan Evanger rounded out scoring with a goal in the 51st minute.
The Cougars were ferocious in their offensive attack, attempting 26 shots on goal in the game.
“It wasn’t just one shot, it was shot after shot after shot which was really nice to see,” Peterson said. “We don’t always get those opportunities, but the fact that we got the opportunity and they took it, it was just really nice to see.”
York didn’t have many opportunities in the game, thanks to solid play from Christopher’s defense. Alina Dominguez and Mariah Carpenter cleared almost everything that came their way, feeding the ball back to their offense.
While the wind whipped around the field—and even knocked York’s net over—Christopher seemed unaffected. Mank said the weather made running more difficult, but Butler welcomed it.
“I’m so glad it was actually windy,” she said. “All of our other games have been played in like 100 degree weather. It was super hot and just exhausting. It’s actually really nice playing in colder weather. It’s a lot better and we’re less dehydrated.”
Christopher (6-3-1 overall, 5-1-1 in league) will be back in action at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 20 to host Monterey.

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