Cats launch Rockets out of playoffs; advance to face Whitman


Photo courtesy of Brooke Onder

Senior captain and midfielder/forward Aranda Hurge dribbles past a Rockets’ defender. The Wildcats defeated the Rockets 4-1 as they advanced to the regional final where they will play Whitman on Tuesday.

On Saturday, Oct. 29, the girls’ soccer team defeated the Richard Montgomery Rockets 4-1 to advance to the regional final.

The Cats got off to a very quick start getting seven early corner kicks in the first 12 minutes of the game and many long possessions into Rockets’ territory during that period. Unfortunately for the Cats, they were unable to convert on any of these early corners.

“We had one period in the season where we were scoring on almost every corner we had and today we had a bunch and weren’t able to score, so I think it’s practicing and getting to the mentality that we need to frame the goal and get people into the right positions to score,” junior midfielder/forward Irene Sánchez Burgueño said.

Just over 20 minutes into the first half, the Cats struck first with a goal from senior captain and midfielder Vivian Vendt. The defense for the Wildcats stayed strong the entire half allowing the Rockets to maintain possession past midfield only a couple of times in the 40 minute half. The teams went into halftime with a score of 1-0.

At halftime, [we were] just saying keep what we were doing in the first half, but we have to step on the field and be even stronger because they were going to come out strong in the second half, they were angry, they were ready to score, so we just needed to put one in the first five minutes which was our goal.

— Emily Roberts

It did not take long for the Wildcats to add to their total in the second half with a goal from Sánchez Burgueño. Just a little over five minutes later, they stretched their lead to 3-0 with a goal from freshman midfielder Evie Avillo.

The Rockets would not go down without a fight though scoring with just under three minutes left in the game. Senior midfielder Katie Campbell came onto the field for the first time, late in the game and sealed the win for the Wildcats, scoring a goal with 1:16 left in the match.

It was my second career goal, so that was pretty awesome especially since I didn’t play the entire game until the last five minutes,” Campbell said.

The Cats will travel to face the top seeded Whitman Vikings on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. Their first matchup went down to the wire as the squad was defeated 1-0 in overtime. The Vikings were the team that knocked WJ out of the playoffs last year on their way to a 4A State Championship victory.

“Mostly it is just mentality. I think we have the talent here to win that game and it’s just taking one game at a time and not looking too far ahead towards states, putting everything we can into the games, putting our bodies on the line and just taking it one step at a time,” Roberts said.