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GECKOS SWEEP ISLANDERS TO SET UP FINALS REMATCH

The GW Lady Geckos sealed their spot in the IIAAG Girls Soccer title game, where a much anticipated rematch with the Notre Dame Royals awaits. The Geckos dominated the JFK Islanders on Wednesday evening at GFA en route to a 4-0 victory.

By Nolan Miles

The GW Lady Geckos sealed their spot in the IIAAG Girls Soccer title game, where a much anticipated rematch with the Notre Dame Royals awaits. The Geckos dominated the JFK Islanders on Wednesday evening at GFA en route to a 4-0 victory.

Jalana Garcia led the way once again for GW with a hat trick in the second half.. Freshman, Faith David, also added a goal; while the the Gecko defense held the Islanders scoreless in an all around team effort.

“Trust is a big factor of why we are where we are right now, we had to get comfortable with one another and build that bond, and that chemistry on the field. We played really well today and I’m just really proud of my team.” said Garcia

The game started off with high tensions as both teams went at it. David was able to sneak a goal past the keeper in the 10th minute off a rebound from a free kick. Her tap-in put GW in the lead and gave them early momentum.

“I was just in the right place at the right time, and I owe that to my team and our communication.” said David.

The Islanders responded with more offensive pressure from the likes of Taryn Rupley and Kiyoni Yamaguchi who kept the defense and GW keeper on their toes with great shots on goal.

The GW Geckos are all smiles as they are headed back to the IIAAG Finals!

Garcia dragged her offense back into game late in the first half, with great runs that either resulted in shots or passes to teammates. One such pass was received by forward, Sawyer Park whose shot hit the post, preventing the Geckos from widening the gap.

Both defenses stepped up towards the end of the first half to keep the margin slim heading into halftime at 1-0.

JFK came out firing early on in the second half, but GW keeper, Tamica Hechanova, made a couple of point-blank saves to preserve her clean sheet and keep the Islanders off the scoreboard.

Garcia had seen enough and in the 44th minute she took matters into her own hands, racing ahead of the JFK defensive line and slamming it past the keeper to stretch the lead. She struck again in the 63rd minute, this time chipping it over the outstretched arms of the Islander’s goalkeeper. Finally just a minute later, Garcia netted her hat trick while also sealing the game with her final goal putting the score at 4-0.

The Geckos’ win put them up against the two-time defending champion Notre Dame Royals. The Royals knocked off the Geckos last year in the championship game, and this year they look to be even stronger. The mighty Royals are undefeated so far this season and also happen to have league MVP Brianne Leon Guerrero. Garcia though, says her team is up for the challenge: “ Honestly, I know we have it in us we just have to be prepared and be present, not only physically but mentally and emotionally. If we bring our game like we brought it tonight I think this team can win a championship.”

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DID U KNOW?

The ND Royals have only lost one soccer game in the past four years (2016-2019), which was an early season loss to the St. Paul Warriors in 2019. ND was coming into 2020 as the four-time defending champions.

The ND Royals on their victory lap after defeating the Academy Cougars 3-2 to become four-time IIAAG Girls High School Soccer Champions. (Photo by Michael Blas)

 

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