By: Margo Rawlings
On Oct. 3 the LGHS Girls Varsity Field Hockey team played their Game of The Year against the Archbishop Mitty Monarchs. An admirable crowd of spectators assembled to watch an exciting game between two of the strongest teams in the Central Coast Section. LGFH previously played the Monarchs in an away match at the beginning of September, beating them 2-0.
The first three quarters of the game remained scoreless, with both teams creating strong attacks, but Los Gatos maintaining possession in Mitty’s half for the majority. In fact, Los Gatos produced 13 short corners while the Monarchs only got three. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Mitty scored a goal through a pass into the circle that was deflected upwards and bounced into the cage, making the score 1-0. However, The Cats quickly tied the game, with sophomore Leah Cleary scoring off of a rebound from the Mitty goalie. With less than five minutes remaining in the game, both teams scrambled to score, hoping to avoid an overtime. Due to Los Gatos’ strong attack, the ball remained in Mitty’s half for the remainder of the game.
With thirty seconds left on the clock, Los Gatos received a short corner. Senior Caitlin Okonkwo inserted the ball to co-captain Alexa Musser; then senior defender McKenzie Powell passed the ball to captain Ellie White, who played it back into the circle to Musser. Musser then shot the ball, scoring with less than ten seconds remaining in the game. The referee, within the circle, believed the goal should count, but the second referee who remained in the middle of the field, 50 yards away from the play, saw a foot foul occur, deeming the goal invalid. Both referees ultimately decided the goal shouldn’t be counted, resulting in a 7v7 overtime.
In field hockey, during overtime, rather than a classic 11v11 quarter played in 15 minutes, the teams play a sudden victory 7v7 for ten minutes. Throughout the overtime period, Los Gatos continued pressuring Mitty’s defense, but unfortunately could not score, resulting in a 1-1 draw between the two powerhouses. When coaches and referees reviewed footage of the game, they found that prior to Los Gatos’ second goal, a foot foul had not occurred. However, once referees call a play and blow their whistle signaling the beginning of the next play, their previous calls cannot be changed, regardless of how it impacts the outcome of the game. Therefore, the match remained a draw.
When reflecting on the game, Powell explained “The game showed us that while we have things to work on, there are a lot of things that we did well, and we worked really hard until the very end. Overall we did a lot of good things and there are a lot of moments in the game to be proud of. It was also a good reminder that sometimes there are parts of the game that aren’t in our control, but we still have to do the best we can and put away the chances that we get. While it may not have been the result that we wanted. I think we can use it as motivation as we go into the final stretch of games.”