Gilroy Mustangs
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For the first half, Live Oak played up to Gilroy’s challenge.
The Acorns forced pressure in the Mustangs’ end and their defense turned away what few opportunities Gilroy had.
But as Gilroy grew more accustomed to the grass field, it ran away with a 4-0 win Friday.
“I think we were able to be successful because of our passing,” said assistant coach Jenna Vivian. “I know that’s something we’ve had struggles on in the past. Even in our last game, we weren’t able to find each other very well and I think we were able to do that better.”
Katrina Carter pushed across two goals, including a first-half goal that was almost an accident.
Carter stood at the top of the circle and pushed the ball into the Acorn zone and it kept rolling until it found the back of the cage.
The goal was so unexpected, even the refs needed a minute to determine if in fact she had made a legal shot.
“I was definitely trying to get it to Emily (Boykin). I saw her at the post, so I tried to get it across and it just ended up going in the goal,” Carter said. “It worked out pretty well.”
When she wasn’t pushing the ball across the goal line, Carter was pushing her shoulder back into place.
“When I got hit by (a Live Oak player’s body), it got popped out. It happened once or twice before,” Carter said.
Live Oak coach Gina Sanders said the first half effort was exactly what the team has been practicing. She said the first-half goal wasn’t a game changer as much as Gilroy’s added intensity.
“In the first half, we were definitely doing that — putting a lot of pressure and a lot of energy,” Sanders said. “It wasn’t even when Gilroy scored, they kind of scored later in the first half, it was more about Gilroy changed their energy level. They changed their play, they changed their focus and we couldn’t come over them. We just came even with them.”
She added that the girls were more hoping something would happen each time they hit the ball than being deliberate about their passing.
The result manifested in the second half when Gilroy took advantage of a short field, netting two goals in the 7th and 17th minutes, including one off a penalty corner.
In the 7th minute of the second half, Kami Humphrey placed a well-aimed shot from a harsh angle along the weak side for a 2-0 lead
The Mustangs increased their lead when Tayler Silacci found the back of the cage with a shot from the top of the zone off a penalty corner in the 17th minute.
Carter put Gilroy up by its final margin, scoring in the last minute of play off a fast break where she stole the ball at midfield and took it in with an unassisted goal.
“Second half we definitely took advantage of opportunities. We were seeing how the ball was leaving their sticks and we were there to get it. It’s not so much we have good defense; we have good pressure. Good pressure makes them make a mistake and we advance on the opportunity.”

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