The Wilcox Chargers girls soccer team came out firing on Tuesday evening. Shots, shots and more shots were directed towards the Cupertino goal, with five of them finding the back of the net before halftime.
Junior forward Sofia Gentry opened the scoring by notching the Chargers’ first two goals within the first ten minutes. In the eighth minute, Gentry got in past the Pioneers’ defense down the left wing. From about 15-yards away, Gentry fired a shot with her left foot inside the upper left corner for the 1-0 lead.
Just two minutes later, Gentry would give her squad a 2-0 lead over Cupertino when she picked up a loose ball in the center of the pitch and launched a shot from about 35-yards out that dipped down just underneath the crossbar.
“I got the ball from [Isabella Marie Tolosa] and was able to drive down the wing and just took the shot,” chimed Gentry on her eventual game-winning goal. “[I] was able to put it in the top corner so I was happy with that.”
“Sofia is a steadily improving player who I’m trying to get her to see that she has a great shot,” chuckled Wilcox Head Coach Tomas Montes. “She can be kind of hesitant, but tonight was the first time where we really saw practice pay off, just turn and shoot.”
In his first season coaching the girls team, Montes has helped the squad improve in the same way he helped the Wilcox boys team develop a stronger game. In Montes’ final season coaching the boys in 2019-20, they finished with an impressive 12-2-6 record.
“Within the last three weeks or so when Montes became our coach, he’s really helped us work together,” chimed senior utility player Gianna Yslava. “He puts drills out at practice in order for us to connect and play those through balls.”
Yslava didn’t score any goals against Cupertino, but the senior was arguably the most standout player for Wilcox. From her attacking midfield spot, Yslava initiated what was certainly the prettiest sequence leading up to any of the goals.
Just a minute after Tolosa put Wilcox up 3-0 in the 33rd minute, Yslava settled the ball down around midfield, deftly tapped it around her defender into open space. She then led winger Lauren Casas down the left side with a perfectly placed pass down the sideline. Casas took a couple of strides and centered the ball back towards the top of the box where Yslava got it back and slid it over perfectly to Tolosa, who then had a point-blank look at the goal from about 12-yards out and buried the shot past the keeper.
“Gianna is a really good player. She knows how to push the ball forward. She honestly does most of the work and I just have to be there and be in the right spot,” joked Tolosa. “I just got to be in the right spot to finish for her. She makes the job really easy for me.”
Jocelyn Mora would cap off the scoring just a minute later in the 35th minute. Wilcox goalkeeper Vidhya Vishwanath wasn’t busy but made two solid saves to come away with the shutout.
The Chargers are now 4-2-1 in league with five games left to play. They’ll take on Milpitas next on Thursday, Jan. 27.