VICTORIA — There weren’t many chances for the Gonzales Lady Apaches last Thursday in their bi-district game against Rockport-Fulton.
“We didn’t push up enough together as a unit in order for that to happen,” Gonzales head coach Kassie Fincke said after Gonzales’ 4-0 loss. “So yeah, lack of offense leads to lack of points.”
The Lady Apaches were unable to maintain possession with the defense trying to keep the Pirates out of their net. For nearly 30 minutes of game time, the Lady Apaches did just that, with athletic saves by sophomore goalkeeper Abi Belin. But Rockport-Fulton eventually scored, once in the 30th minute and again in the 38th to go up 2-0 before the half. Belin had nearly double-digit saves in the four-goal loss.
“Abi Belin, my goalkeeper, is absolutely phenomenal,” Fincke said. “She just stays in it, she’s a competitor. She also plays volleyball for Gonzales and she’s the same way there. She’s a gamer and she had some really athletic saves that I think just came off instinct and she didn’t hesitate. She played phenomenally and shows a lot of leadership in our defense.”
The Lady Apaches had a few chances in the second half, but Rockport-Fulton’s well rested back line was able to clear any sort of danger.
“We didn’t win the ball in the air and we let them set the pace and control the ball,” Fincke explained. “We were on our heels for the majority of the game. We had a few spots of good offense but ultimately, we didn’t have enough of that because we were kind of rocked back on our heels.”
A third and fourth goal were scored in the second half, ending the Lady Apaches’ season with a 4-0 bi-district loss.
“It was a year of growth for both me and them,” Fincke said, reflecting on the season. “I’m really proud of how far they’ve come. I told them the other day, ‘you wouldn’t recognize you four months ago.’ I’m really proud of what we’ve done. Sometimes all wins aren’t on the scoreboard and we’ve had a lot of wins this season that have had to come that way. But now that we’ve got those out of the way, moving forward, they’ve got to show up on the scoreboard.”
The Lady Apaches will graduate five seniors, all of whom helped build the program since its inception.
“I think that Bri Gomez has made a tremendous impact as well as Bethany Gayton in the midfield and they helped to train some of those midfielders,” Fincke began. “Crystal [Garcia], we will always miss her in defense and her positive attitude and work ethic as well as Lily, we’ll miss her big foot and her momma instincts, she’s definitely the protector, and we’ll miss Yaky [Vasquez’s] strong leg in the midfield as well. I think they all are taking a little piece of them like we said when they took that little piece of Apache Field at senior night.”
Gonzales finished District 29-4A in third place this season.