Field hockey: Varsity girls beat Del Mar in 3-0 shutout

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Field hockey: Varsity girls beat Del Mar in 3-0 shutout

Jacob Lui

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In a game against Del Mar on Oct. 25, junior Holly Matsunami (left) evades opponents and pushes towards the goal, sophomore Sarah Im turns the ball back towards the offense (upper right), and senior Dani Beiser prevents the ball from passing midfield (bottom right). Photos by Jacob Lui

Teamwork prolonged by endurance – a strategy that the varsity girls field hockey team used when they defeated Del Mar High School, a team they had lost to 1-3 in a previous game, in a dominating 3-0 win on Oct. 25.
“We kept the momentum going,” junior Holly Matsunami said.

That continual drive was what the Matadors implemented to reach victory. The starting minutes of the game were intense as both teams were head-to-head in both offense and defense. However, Del Mar eventually began losing their initial spark when the Matadors increased their interceptions and turnovers. About half an hour into the game, the first goal was made by senior Justine Young from a deflection off of Del Mar’s goalie.

The second half was marked by two goals from the Matadors, first by sophomore Sarah Im with a quick and unexpected interception of Del Mar’s attempted long pass – driving it into the goal 20 minutes into the second half. Even with the score 2-0, the Lady Mats did not stop their drive. Del Mar’s endeavors to score were shot down quickly by seniors Hannah DeBaets and Dani Beiser as they kept the ball from passing midfield. Towards the end of the second half, two consecutive short corners – penalties in which the penalized team members start in the goal while the opposing team has a free play – allowed junior Katie Byrne to make the third goal, increasing their lead 3-0.

The beginning of the first half consisted of great defensive endurance and drive from both sides. The Matadors put up a strong defense with DeBaets and seniors Raelle Alfaro and Christina Aguila saving the ball from getting too deep into the MVHS side and reversing Del Mar’s advance.

Junior Emily Vokach-Brodsky brings the ball close to the Del Mar goal at the end of the second half. Photo by Jacob Lui

When Del Mar began losing their fire in the first half, the Lady Mats continued to push forward and present a formidable offense. After Young’s first goal and for the remainder of the first half, Aguila and Matsunami maintained the ball in the offense and kept Del Mar pressured near their goal.

During the second half, the Lady Mats continued their strong plays to protect their lead. DeBaets stole the ball away from Del Mar with several interceptions and swift footwork, refusing to allow the opponents to get far past midfield. The second half was defined by the Matador girls’ agility and successful passes which allowed them to evade Del Mar and keep the ball away from their own goal.

“It started off a little slow,” varsity coach Denise Eachus said, “[but] there was a good connection of passes when they got the timing right.”

DeBaets, Aguila, and Beiser kept a hard defensive line at the half, connecting passes to Matsunami and Young who kept the heat on in the front. Most offensive drives made by Del Mar that crossed midfield in the second half were quickly countered, with a firm defense from senior Theresa Wong and blocks from the junior goalie Megan Jones. Del Mar also had the opportunity for a couple of short corners but were unable to score. In the final minutes, MVHS continued to push for another goal with junior Emily Vokach-Brodsky up close towards Del Mar’s goal, but unable to make it in on time.

In the end, it was evident that the incessant pressure the Lady Mats forced onto Del Mar pulled them through to score big and prevent goals from the opponent. As the game finished, the team walked off the field with strong spirit and high hopes of qualifying for the finals.

“We are all really pumped for Thursday’s game because we know that if we keep winning we can qualify for CCS,” said Matsunami.

The Matador’s final home game will be the senior game against Lynbrook on Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. at Fremont High School. Nine seniors will be playing their last home game, including Raelle Alfaro, Christina Aguila, Nicole Anderson, Dani Beiser, Hannah DeBaets, Theresa Wong, Zelia Ziegler Hunts, Rebecca Alberts, and Justine Young.