Woodside High School's latest win, a 4-0 blitzing of San Mateo, was a display of all that is good, bad and downright exciting about Wildcat girls' soccer.
Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
Woodside's Erika Negrete, left, goes around San Mateo Kitty Qu to score the Wildcats' first goal in a 4-0 Woodside win to remain unbeaten in PAL Bay Division play.
The score was good, there were moments that head coach Jose Navarrete found less than stellar, but the exciting part revolves around watching a young, talented team in Woodside that may be 9-0-2 so far this season but will probably be even better in years to come — consider that three of Woodside's goals were scored by freshman on Friday.
"All five freshmen have been doing a great job for us,” Navarette said. "So, we're excited because we're an experienced team, but we're also a very young team. We still have a lot to learn and we think we can really get better.”
Woodside showed it has the ability to get better on the fly. They jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on Friday, hit a bit of a lull near the end of the first half but then righted the ship and dominated play in the second half, adding two more goals and cruising to its fourth league win in five games (4-0-1).
"They're more aggressive than we are,” said San Mateo head coach Carlos Bover. "They know their game plan and they know how to execute it really well. We were able to hold them a little bit but we gave them two goals in the first 10 minutes and that brought our game plan down. They are good.”
Woodside brought the pressure early and following a San Mateo restart deep in Wildcats' territory, it took them two touches, the latter a perfect through ball by Lauren Holland, to spring Erika Negrete on a 1v1 she executed to perfection to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.
Not too long after the junior scored, Negrete gave back a little something by finding Jillienne Aguilera on a cross inside the penalty box. The freshman control the ball and found herself all alone in front of the San Mateo goalkeeper — and by all alone, no one within 15 yards of her — before calmly finishing for the 2-0 lead.
Both coaches felt a shift in the game after that score.
"Lack of discipline,” Navarrete said. "We went away from our game. We thought we got two quick goals and we were trying to get a goal off of every single possession and that's not going to happen against anyone in this league.”
"I thought actually towards the end of the first half, I thought the game was pretty much under our control,” Bover said, "they scored two goals ... but they didn't get many opportunities afterwards. So, I thought we were able to actually play. But they were strong and we haven't played a team that is this strong. They were able to out-run everywhere.”
San Mateo's Brenda Flores almost made things very interesting when she hit the far post on a blazing shot that would've cut the lead in half in the 26th minute. The opportunity was one of the few that made Navarrete a bit uneasy.
"Their forwards were doing a good job of putting pressure on us,” he said. "And we just kind of sat there and reacted to what they were doing instead of playing with a little more anticipation. The second half was much different. We set out to win every ball possible and go from there.”
It was a focus on defense that saw more than just the majority of chances go Woodside's way in the second half.
Freshman Sesayde Young capitalized on her's in the 57th minute while Aguilera was gifted another in the 62nd and deposited that into the San Mateo twine for the 4-0 result.
Low on offensive highlights, the Bearcats did have their standout performances, according to Bover.
"Kelly Ghiorso and Katie Wischer play so hard every game,” he said. "And in games like this, it really shows — when we play a more defensive game, it really shows how hard they work. They are a reference for us. We'll always look up to them.”