Tuesday April 9, Amador 17 @ Miramonte 14
Two years ago, Miramonte proved to be a tough matchup in the regular and post-season. Amador won both affairs with a score of 14-12. Last year, Miramonte collapsed and their standout sophomore was denied any goals. This year proved to be the Matador’s strongest showing against the Dons.
Out of the draw Amador quickly went to work and would take two shots on goal but be denied. The Matadors would push the ball downfield and attack up the center to take a 0-1 advantage. Amador would take the draw to the penalty line. Bella Mayo would easily convert with a strong shot to give the Don’s their first goal. Mayo would earn the next draw and start the break. Lily Manos would attack from the wing and weave a figure 8, out then in, for another goal. The Mats would make multiple probing attempts against the defense. Fast switches and slides would deny Miramonte several times. Eventually the Mats would hit a cutter inside to knot it up. Flashes of the loss to San Ramon erupted in my mind. Amador and Miramonte would continue an additional exchange of goals to keep the tie, 3-3. Defense would again be under pressure and Alex Lovelock would earn her first save of the game. The ball would transition up to Erica Haley, then Mady Riddle, and eventually to Marley Diligent who would execute multiple spins and cut backs before shooting a goal. A tough battle at draw would be won by Diligent who then forwards to Mady Sweeney. Sweeney would push down the center for goal. The Matadors would quickly answer with a goal straight out of the draw. Catherine Murphy would successfully scoop out a draw and find Kalena Johnson. Johnson’s shot would pipe. During her attempt to recover her own shot she would earn a free position shot, by being pushed from behind. Her penalty goal would give the Dons a 6-4 advantage. Defense would again be put to the task. Despite earning a save, the defense would drop the ball in transition. The Mats would capitalize by converting a penalty shot. Miramonte would waste no time and run multiple picks to tie up the Amador defense and earn a goal by curling the top of the key, 6-6. Defense would finally get another turnover. Good midfield defense by both teams would see the ball exchange possession several times before Amador finally broke through. Mayo would execute a clean crease roll, as another attacker cuts to draw away her defender. Mayo’s low attack shot would sail into the net. Lovelock would get back to back deflecting saves and send the Don’s back on offense. A pass to the middle of the field would quickly be intercepted and get the Matadors to the line. The Matadors would convert the penalty with 4 seconds remaining in the half. This was a defensive heartbreaker to close the half.
The coaches would rally their troops with corrections for the second half. Amador earned the draw but would take a weak shot from distance. The Miramonte goalie would easily save out the shot and outlet the ball. However, the Don’s midfield defense would get a checkout turnover for another chance. Murphy takes the rock from behind X and rolls the crease for a goal. Again, a furious bit of back and forth scoring leads us to 10-9 lead. Offense got the ball circling around. Sam Nimmo received at the top of the circle and saw a wide lane. Her charge down the middle and low bounce was exactly what Amador needed to disrupt Miramonte’s focus. Defense would earn a turnover and Diligent would run circles throughout the back and midfield. She ran so ragged, she and the entire defense slowed to a crawl. Diligent would finally break forward and Mady Sweeney would reward her efforts with a drive from the wing into the center of the 8-meter past several defenders for a 12-9 lead. The Don’s would pressure Miramonte out of the draw and get a ball rolling down the sideline. Johnson and Bayani would fight to chase it down. Johnson would be rewarded the ball for taking a stick to the back. Her effort wouldn’t be wasted as Mady Sweeney would drive from left to right and give the Don’s their largest lead of the game. The Matadors weren’t done and would fight for a penalty shot. In a weird turn of events, the refs would give Miramonte a delay of game warning and place the attacker in a more advantageous position for the penalty shot. The Mats would convert this penalty and another off the draw to narrow the game to 13-11. Defense finally earned another turnover and transition. Mayo driving down the center and is pushed going to goal outside of the 8-meter. She took the advantage and found an open Catherine Murphy sitting underneath the 8-meter undefended. Murphy’s shot was true, and the Don’s get some breathing room. Despite multiple Miramonte drives, that were questionable charges, they earned yet another penalty shot. The Miramonte standout converted another goal. Miramonte would leave the draw strong and take a blazing hot shot to goal. The shot would pipe and exit side out. Lily Manos would pickup the turnover, run the field, and drive strong, past several defenders to score. Miramonte’s speedster would execute her own offensive magic by breaking ankles and scoring to keep the match close. With two minutes remaining it was still anyone’s match. Mayo would snag the draw. For a moment it looked like Amador would hold the ball and expire time. Johnson would take advantage of an open lane and get to the penalty line on a shooting space. Her shot would close the door on Miramonte. Miramonte wouldn’t go down without a fight. Despite earning another Matador goal you could feel the momentum couldn’t shift enough. Amador would win the last draw and attempt to hold the ball. Victoria Frenz would feint a drive and get a shooting space in the closing seconds. She would wave off her shot attempt and Sam Nimmo would get the ball at X. Her crease roll in the closing seconds would see her score the final goal. Amador would take a hard-fought victory against the Miramonte Matadors, 17-14.
The Don’s would win this shoot out. Defensively Amador did just enough to keep Miramonte at bay. Amador will travel to a struggling Dougherty Valley on Friday. Despite their rough season the Dougherty Valley Wildcats shouldn’t be taken lightly. The Don’s focus also needs to be on keeping players healthy down the stretch. Amador pulled up a couple JV players to pad their injured ranks. Alex Lovelock played exceptionally well for her second varsity game at goal. Emma Rathjen was also pulled up from JV and will be looking to provide strong relief for the defense in coming games.
Written by Jake Bayani