The Lady Dons emerged victorious in their first-ever playoff game, as they took down Carlmont, the West Bay Athletic League tournament’s No. 6 seed, in a 12-7 victory on May 9.
“It feels great,” says coach Kalyn Olson. “This was probably a lot of pressure and nervousness from the team because it is a place we’ve never been before.”
The Dons were led by junior goalkeeper Gabby Navarro, who had 15 saves, frustrating the Carlmont attack and keeping them at bay.
“I gained this mindset that I have to not care if the other team got a goal,” says Navarro. “I have to just focus on the next save cause that’s all I can control. And [I] always play like it’s 0-0. The scoreboard should not affect how I think.”
Offensively, the Dons had six players get on the scoresheet, with juniors Annie Martin and Kate Fitzgerald and senior Julianna Glafkides scoring hat tricks. Fitzgerald also had two assists along with her three goals.
“I was patient with my shots,” says Glafkides. “Two of my goals were assisted, so it was really about working with my teammates to catch the defense off guard and get good positioning in front of the goal.”
The Dons started the game off hot, netting five goals before a stoppage in play at the 10:22 mark. After the break, Carlmont would strike back, scoring three goals in 90 seconds to close the gap and put pressure on the Lady Dons.
“Carlmont is a great team,” says Olson. “They are a fast-break, run-and-gun team, and so our defense is ready for that, but they are still aggressive. I thought we did well to recover and end the first half strong.”
In the second half, the Lady Dons slowed the pace down by retaining possession and not allowing Carlmont to get the ball and counter-attack quickly. The Lady Dons added on six more goals in the second half to their six-goal total in the first half.
Following their win, Aragon will host Sequoia in the semifinals on May 10. The Lady Dons beat the Cherokees six days earlier 11-5, and hope to continue this trend on Thursday.
Featured image by Eric Shen