Tuesday afternoon on the Wilcox pool deck turned out to be the setting of a wild back-and-forth match between the Chargers and the Fremont Firebirds. Despite not a single goal being scored in the second quarter, this contest ended up being a high-scoring affair with neither side ever enjoying a two-goal advantage. In the end, it was a beautiful shot that went off the post and in from Chargers’ senior Marisa Lipari in overtime that gave Wilcox the 9-8 victory. It was Lipari’s third goal and second picture-perfect shot of the game. Her 3-2 marker could not have been placed any better, just inside the far post, nicking down off the crossbar.
“Marisa has been playing year-round for about four years now and you can tell,” remarked Chargers Head Coach Rich Cruzen. “You can tell she’s taken that shot 1,000 times. She has the confidence to take it.”
While Lipari scored two of the prettiest goals of the game, the leading scorer for the Chargers was junior Justine Garcia, who finished with all of the other six goals. Garcia scored them from three different distances, showing her versatility.
“She’s very strong and she’s quick,” said Chargers’ goalie Kaitlyn Wang on Garcia. “It’s nice to know that we have her as a go-to scorer.”
The go-to scorer for the Firebirds in this one was Shreya Kale. As a left-handed shooter, Kale provides an element that most teams don’t have, an upfront scoring threat on the right side. Kale would score four of Fremont’s first six goals to pace the team.
“She’s our only lefty on the team, she makes a lot of her shots,” said Fremont captain Tanvi Gaitonde. “She’s really talented, so having her in that spot helps a lot.”
“She plays our five position and her shooting angle is right there, she can get the ball and drop it in,” noted Firebirds Head Coach Moris Clark. “It’s always nice having a lefty. Two years ago, when we won the league, we had a lefty up there. So, my hope is that she’s only going to get stronger.”
Both offenses certainly seemed to get stronger as the game went along. The first quarter ended just 2-2, and as aforementioned, neither team scored in the second. At the start of the third quarter, though, the two sides began exchanging goals back and forth with Wilcox taking a one-goal lead and Fremont tying it back up every time. The only part of the game at which the Firebirds led, was when the score was 2-1.
Back and forth the teams went and, with just over a minute remaining in regulation, Fremont’s Tania Frank scored mere moments after a power play had expired, tying the game at 8-8. It was Frank’s second goal of the match. Jessica Lund and Janea Melido also scored for the Firebirds in the loss.
Fremont now falls to 2-3 in league and has a week off until their next game against Milpitas on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Wilcox improves to 3-2 and will play at Monta Vista on Thursday, Oct. 3.