Three goals and a win for Jamba Juice

Three goals and a win for Jamba Juice

Eric Wong

Varsity field hockey picks up its first win with a dominating performance over Willow Glen, winning 3-0

A win is a win, but it can be twice as sweet if the coach promises the team Jamba Juice.  For the varsity field hockey team, the mission was simple: score three goals and get the win for delicious fruit smoothies, courtesy of Coach Denise Eachus. In their match against Willow Glen, the Matadors dominated possession for long stretches of play.  With a focus on teamwork and shooting, the girls worked hard for their 3-0 victory.  During the field hockey match against Willow Glen on Oct. 2, senior Kaede Hamilton, a right midfielder, jostles for position with a player from Willow Glen.  Her aggressive play characterized the determination of the Matadors' desire to control the tempo of the game. Photo by Eric Wong.

Within the first few minutes, the Matadors controlled the game, peppering the Willow Glen goalie with a number of shots. However, the team lost its focus and Willow Glen took advantage of the Matadors’ sloppy passes and poor ball distribution to swing the momentum of the game in their favor. This prompted Eachus to call a timeouto rally the girls and to remind them to receive their passes softly so that they would have better possession.

"We got sloppy and didn’t put our sticks down and we were focused on dribbling instead of passing," junior Sara Hamilton said. 

After the timeout, the Matadors found their rhythm again and the difference was evident in the crisper passes and the number of short corners and free hits that the Matadors were now getting. With 7:58 left in the first half, the Matadors broke through with a goal from senior Suzanne Stern, assisted by senior Crissy Stuart. The half ended with the Matadors holding a slim 1-0 lead over Willow Glen. 

The Matadors started the second half much like they started the game, but this time they remained consistent throughout.  Junior Courtney Herda scored five minutes into the second half, assisted by senior Jacquie Stuart, to put the Matadors up 2-0. The Matadors kept the pressure on, chanting for "One more goal!" to earn their reward.

On the field, senior Kaede Hamilton, recently named girls athlete of the week by the San Jose Mercury News, found her shot roll past the endline from a deflection off the goalie, leading to a short corner. Junior Jackie Barr found the ball on her stick and slammed it into the back of the goal with an assist from Stern to make it 3-0 Matadors. Senior Jacquie Stuart had some strong defensive play to shut down the other team’s forwards and Stern continued her domination up front playing as center forward. 

"We worked on getting to the goal and shooting more," Stern said.  "As center forward, I’m supposed to shoot the ball a lot."  Junior Kristen Tatsuno charges down the field with the ball with senior Crissy Stuart running to get open.  Solid control of the ball allowed the  team to work on getting in front of the goal and getting shots on net.  Photo by Eric Wong.

Sensing victory, the girls continued to attack, and senior Pooja Kundargi almost scored a fourth goal if it weren’t for the alert stop made by the Willow Glen goalie.  Stern was also close to scoring again, sending the ball across the goalmouth, but no teammate was there to receive the pass and put the ball into the goal. 

The game ended with a 3-0 victory for the Matadors over Willow Glen,placing the Matadors 1-1-1 overall for the season. 

"It’s nice to get the three goals and the win today, but our main goal is CCS," Sara Hamilton said. 

Eachus liked what she saw on the field and felt that the win would be a good confidence booster for the team heading into their next games. 

"Our offense produced a lot more and we had more effective dodges,"  Eachus said.  "By talking and communicating a lot on the field, we had better teamwork." 

The next game for the varsity field hockey team is versus Live Oak on Oct. 7.  The game will be at home, starting at 3:30 pm.