Although it wasn’t a true winner-take-all game, the North Salinas and Christopher field hockey teams played like it was in Monday’s showdown in Salinas.
North Salinas tallied a late goal to make it a 1-1 tie between the top two teams in the Mission Trail Athletic League. The Cougars (9-0-1 MTAL) remain a half game up on two-time defending league champion North Salinas (9-1-1 MTAL).
“We wanted the win for sure, but getting a tie isn’t bad,” North Salinas coach Stan Marple said. “We’ll see how we finish up and we’ll see how they finish up.”
North Salinas, which had its 32-league match unbeaten streak ended by Christopher in a 3-2 loss on Sept. 19, has three matches remaining and Christopher has four.
The Vikings (10-2-1 overall) finish up against Santa Catalina, Stevenson and Carmel, while the Cougars (9-0-3 overall) play York (twice), Notre Dame and Monterey.
The intensity of this game didn’t waste anytime making itself known. Both benches were lined up along the sidelines and coaches were shouting out instructions — and it stayed that way throughout.
“I like playing in these types of games,” North Salinas’ Ashley Longoria said. “I was nervous at first, but then it all went away.”
The game was scoreless through the first 30 minutes of action.
“We missed a few chances at the beginning,” Marple said, “but I though we played great and Christopher played very well too.”
Both teams came close to scoring goals off of short corners in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Christopher created a scramble in front of the goal and then got a rush off a steal in the 47th minute, but couldn’t get off a clean shot on either opportunity.
In the 49th minute, Christopher’s Maddie Peterson put in the first goal of the game, knocking in a low shot off of pass off a short corner.
Facing adversity, the Vikings stepped up their play, and in the 57th minute got the equalizer. The ball was sent in to Longoria who gathered it with her stick and flicked it in.
“It happened so fast,” she said.
Neither team mounted a strong scoring threat over the final three minutes.
North Salinas returns to action Friday at Santa Catalina. Christopher plays Wednesday at home against York.
York 2, Notre Dame 2: At York, the Spirits scored twice in the second half to erase York’s 2-0 lead.
York freshman Emma Carr had a pair of goals off assists from Bria Adams and Geri Pirkle. Notre Dame (2-7-3 MTAL) got goals from Morgan Balestreri and Ashlin Gomez, both off short corners.
Monterey Bay Invitational: At Toro Park (Saturday), the Salinas High varsity girls team finished first in the varsity girls race, beating out second-place Mountain View 49-62.
Salinas’ Cynthia Camacho conquered the 3-mile course in 19 minutes, 14 seconds for a fifth-place finish. The next two places went to teammate Malena Grover (19:35) and Leah Meuter (19:40).
Carmel’s Maddie McKenzie was ninth in 19:49.
In the varsity boys race, North Salinas’ Ivan Pina finished third in a time of 16:18. Los Altos’ Terence Rabuzzi won 16:03 to help his team to a first-place finish.
In the frosh/soph boys race, Salinas finished first ahead of Los Altos, and in the frosh/soph girls race, Greenfield beat out Santa Clara. Salinas was led by Ian Clark (17:54, fourth) and Javier Cardena (18:00, sixth). Greenfield went 1-2 with Nancy Rivera (20:01) and Jocelyn Sosa (20:03).