Scots outlast Panthers in competitive matchup

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Alexander Menchtchikov

Freshman forward Lindsay Wong fights for the ball in the midfield.

Carlmont’s varsity girls soccer team played a close game against Presentation on Dec. 13 and came back from a 1-0 deficit to beat the Panthers 3-1.

“It was a really good game with two really solid teams playing against each other. Momentum swung both directions and we both had plenty of opportunities,” said Todd Daniels, a coach for Presentation.

The Panthers dominated possession and had a lot of chances in the first half, but were only able to finish one of them as right winger Alexis Barker scored in the sixth minute. 

In the 19th minute, Carlmont drew the score level as junior forward Emily Gehrlein Allen capitalized on a counter-attack and finished at the near post.

“I knew our finishing was going to be good, so it was just a matter of getting those opportunities for our forwards. Not a lot of those came at first, but [Gehrlein Allen] did really well to draw us even,” said Jillian Quan, the head coach for Carlmont. 

Presentation continued having chances and the Scots were lucky to not finish the half a couple goals behind. Junior goalkeeper Ava Gaboury kept the Panthers from building on their lead by making back-to-back saves in the final minutes of the half.

The Scots came out a lot stronger in the second half and made the game more competitive. The space that was previously left open between the Panthers’ midfield and defensive lines was now occupied by Thais Nunez, a junior forward for the Scots, who was able to hold the ball up and link play between the midfield and wingers.

“I did think in the first half Presentation was a bit more in control. We were a bit hectic and frantic,” Quan said. “But in the second half I thought we were a bit more in control with possession and the ball movement looked much better.”

Those two losses kind of lit a fire in us to turn it around ourselves. The girls have been really good about being on top of each other and working hard and trying to be successful here.

— Jillian Quan

In the 30th minute, Carlmont finally found a breakthrough, as sophomore winger Kaylee Kim was able to run past her defender for an easy one-on-one chance against the keeper. The Scots were up 2-1 entering the final 10 minutes of the game.

Presentation continued trying to find a goal in the final minutes of the game, but a blunder from their keeper while defending a cross gave the ball directly to freshman forward Lindsay Wong, who scored and killed the Panthers’ hopes of a comeback.

Wong’s goal was a key event among the players, as it was freshman Niyati Hazari’s cross that assisted Wong, making it a freshman-to-freshman connection to score.

“We have four freshmen on the team, and even though it’s their first season here, they’ve been playing well and really fitting in, so it was special seeing them connect on the goal,” Kim said. 

While Presentation definitely dominated the first half, their inability to capitalize on their chances gave the Scots an easy pathway to victory when they changed their tactics to be much more competitive.

“We definitely showed up in the second half and just outworked the other team, so I’m really proud of what we did today,” Kim said.

Incorporating wingers was essential for the Scots. In the first half they often had to play off counter-attacks which were largely ineffective. Once they were able to keep the ball between their players and garner possession, they were able to utilize players like Kim and Gehrlein Allen to increase their scoring opportunities.

Carlmont is now 3-2-1 and is undefeated in four consecutive games. Since losing their first two games, the Scots beat Palo Alto, Sacred Heart Prep, and now Presentation. 

“Those two losses kind of lit a fire in us to turn it around ourselves,” Quan said. “The girls have been really good about being on top of each other and working hard and trying to be successful here.”

As the preseason comes to an end, the Scots will compete in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay division in January. Carlmont was promoted back to the Bay division following a perfect 10-0 season in the Ocean division.