GONZALES — Senior Night ended in celebration as the Gonzales Lady Apaches used their relentless pressure to beat the Yoakum Lady Bulldogs 2-0, moving to third place in District 29-4A.
Unless Yoakum (0-4-1, 1 point) upsets La Vernia (3-2, 9 points), Gonzales (1-3-1, 4 points) is expected to end the season as the third seed out of district.
Head coach Kassie Fincke credited not only the team’s willingness to pressure Yoakum’s defense, but her own defense as well in Gonzales’ clean sheet.
“My defense played really well,” she said. “Veronica Moreno runs that back there and she does a really good job of hustling to every ball and communicating with people so that we can read those passes, so that it’s an easier pick off. Her and Britnay Castillo tonight really stepped up as well as Emma Hernandez, Britney Villegas and Madi Klein. All of them. I think the communication was there. I think communication was a really big part of our success tonight, but also reading the play instead of going in and stabbing in, they were playing smarter not harder and reading.”
After going up 1-0 in the first half, the Lady Apaches immediately doubled their lead with a goal by Natalya Cruz less than four minutes into the second half.
“At halftime we were very candid with each other on things we were doing right and things we were doing wrong,” Fincke noted. “That kind of self-assessment and willingness to grow from that I think was really effective today.”
“We definitely knew there were holes in that defense,” she added. “We talked about them and we talked about who we needed to move, so we made some adjustments there and put pressure on the ball. But ultimately, I think we just talked about having to have the urgency because this was our last game at Apache Field.”
Senior night was extra special for Bri Gomez, who told Fincke before the game she was going to score.
“I was so proud of her to get a goal on senior night, her last night on Apache Field,” Fincke said. “Before the game we did a little ceremony where I gave them a little jar and I told them basically they will always be a part of Apache Field so I wanted them to take a piece with them, so they collected some grass and dirt and put it in there. When she did hers, she said, ‘I’m going to get one tonight,’ and I believed her. So when she scored that I was not the least bit surprised.”
Due to the size of the district, the scheduling allowed for the teams to use Spring Break as a break in between games. Gonzales’ final district game is against the unbeaten district leaders Pleasanton (5-0, 15 points).
“Headed into next week with Pleasanton, they got to be self-disciplined over this break,” Fincke explained. “Breaks are hard.”
“Through that, we’ve got to use that game to see how it can make us better,” Fincke continued. “We’ve got to go into that game expecting to win no matter how good of a team they are, whatever their record is, we got to keep the drive going into the playoffs so we can be successful there too. We can’t just skip over that.”
Gonzales travels to Pleasanton on Tuesday, March 19 to conclude district. Assuming Gonzales stays in third, the Lady Apaches will play the District 30-4A runner up in the first round of playoffs, which is scheduled for some time between March 28-30.
|District 29-4A girls soccer|