By: Margo Rawlings
Following an incredible season, undefeated in both the SCVAL league and the playoffs, the Los Gatos Girls’ Varsity Field Hockey took home their 17th Central Coast Section (CCS) Championship win on Nov. 11.
LGFH dominated the regular season, finishing with an undefeated record of 14-0-2 as divisional champions. Holding the highest seed across the Central Coast, Los Gatos received two byes to begin the playoffs, resulting in playing their first post-season game against the Leigh Longhorns in the CCS quarter finals. Los Gatos controlled the game, maintaining possession of the ball for the majority of the match and swiftly carrying it upfield in order to continue their offense against the Longhorns. Leigh quickly succumbed to Los Gatos’ fierce attack, conceding a goal in the first five minutes. The Cats’ momentum only grew, as they scoredtwo more goals before halftime.
Following their victory, LG advanced to the semi-finals to play their long-time rivals, the Archbishop Mitty Monarchs. The first quarter remained scoreless, with both teams creating great offensive plays. Within the first five minutes of the second quarter, the Monarchs passed the ball through the center of the circle, allowing one of their players to throw the ball in from the stroke mark, bringing the match to 0-1. Los Gatos quickly retaliated, scoring within the next two minutes on a short corner. Through the third and then fourth quarter, the Monarch’s defense fell to LG’s powerful offensive line. The ball remained largely on Mitty’s half of the field, especially in their circle for the remainder of the last quarter. Although the Wildcats dominated offensively, producing 19 short corners compared to Mitty’s four, they were unable to score again in regular time, forcing the game into a 7v7 instant death overtime play. With three minutes left in the overtime period, captain Ellie White intercepted the ball from a free hit, and sent it up the field to Clare Torres, who deftly entered the circle, pulled the ball back, and fired it into the cage, making the score 2-1, ending the game.
Eager for the finals, Los Gatos faced the Saint Ignatius (SI) Wildcats, the 2nd seeded team in the tournament. The match began with Los Gatos showcasing their strong stick skills and overall talent on the field. SI held Los Gatos off until the fourth quarter when senior Aanya Gupta sent a strong, airborne shot towards the cage during a short corner, and sophomore Leaya Cleary tipped the ball past the goalie. Although SI attempted to tie the game, their attempts were unsuccessful, even when Los Gatos was short two players due to penalty cards. White reflected on the final and season, explaining, “we’ve been training for months for this game and when it came down to it, everyone played for each other and for one common goal. The entire team came together and contributed to the success we had. I’m so proud of everyone’s hard work and grateful to be a part of such a special team.”