After a long successful season, winning the De Anza League title, scoring 72 goals, and winning all but one league game, the Wildcats’ field hockey season is unfortunately over.
The LGHS field hockey team quickly adjusted to their new starting line-up after the majority of last year’s starters graduated. Senior captain Jiwoo Hong explained that for her, “the biggest challenge was adjusting to playing center forward because when you play the wing, you have your zone, and you know exactly where to be, but when you’re in the center, it’s really difficult to tell where the defense is coming from. So figuring out where to be in that position was super difficult for me, but honestly, having Natasha [Evenden, last year’s captain,] here really helped me out.” Due to their ability to adapt and work hard, Los Gatos saw much success throughout the season, beating other strong teams in the De Anza League, like Archbishop Mitty and Saint Francis.
On Nov. 5, Los Gatos, ranked first in the league, played their first CCS (Central Coast Section) match against Prospect High School. The team came out strong, maintaining possession of the ball throughout all four quarters. Senior Abby Lo, who has been a major asset to the team throughout the season, scored a personal game-high of four goals, contributing to the Cats’ 7-0 win. Hong, who scored through a lift, credited her success to the environment her teammates created. She explained that when “game time comes, I get in the zone. I feel like everybody is too, and having them around me super focused helps a lot. It’s a great environment.”
Los Gatos then played Christopher High School in CCS semi-finals on Nov. 9. The Wildcats held the ball on Christopher’s half for the majority of the game. Senior Captain Sam Elliott helped control both the defensive and offensive sides of the game. She ensured the ball remained in the team’s possession while also making various attempts to score. Due to Los Gatos’ fierce defenders, the Cougars received only four short corners throughout the game, compared to the Cats’ 11.
In the defensive end, juniors McKenzie Powell and Ellie White stopped many of Christopher’s breakaways, sending the ball back to the offense in hopes to score. Los Gatos’ defenders showed their dedication to their positions by consistently stopping the Cougar’s forwards and at one point, even sliding into the cage to stop the other team from scoring. Towards the end of the match, junior Caitlin Okonkwo sent various incredible hits up the field, toward the offense, giving LGHS more opportunities on goal. However, with three minutes and eight seconds left in the game, Christopher scored from a short corner from which Los Gatos could not recover.
Although the Cats’ season may be over after their 0 – 1 loss, they will be back next season, looking to add another CCS championship to their 17.