Hart continues run; Grizzlies take small victories

Alyssa Irwin (Hart, 16) fights for the ball with Shaden Moran (17) and Katlyn Herrera (Golden Valley 16) // Photo courtesy Stephanie Shrout
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Despite a draw on Tuesday, Hart continues to roll through the Foothill League after defeating Golden Valley 4-1 at Hart High School Thursday afternoon.

Although they came out on the losing side, the Grizzlies (4-7-3 overall, 0-4-2 league) kept the Indian (16-1-3, 4-0-1) attack at bay for a majority of the first half. 

“It did take us a little bit to figure out,” said Hart head coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “It wasn’t that simple to break that block. It’s not like we weren’t creating chances, it just took us a little bit to figure out what door was open.”

Golden Valley head coach Freddy Wheeler said the plan was to frustrate the Indians’ forwards and limit opportunities for attack. His defensive approach held hart scoreless for almost the entire first half.

“We kind of parked the bus and defended,” he said. “Every single one of my players that played today I couldn’t be any more proud of. It was a definite team effort.”

Eventually, the Indians broke through as the first half came to a close. Delaney Schamber hit the top of the net with an assist from Stefani Woll.

“She came off the bench and scored a huge goal for us,” Mitrovitch said.

In the second half, the Indians fired at will. Alyssa Irwin scored two back-to-back goals. The first was a header. Jensen Shrout chipped the ball over the defense and Irwin finished. Her second goal came on a long pass into a crowd of bodies from Woll.

Mariah Garcia (21) and Sienna Frie (14) battle for the ball. // Photo courtesy Stephanie Shrout

“She’s the king of assists,” Mitrovitch said of Woll.

Hart’s fourth goal came from Elizabeth Magana. A shot from Irwin bounced off the Grizzly defense and Magana charged forward to knock it in.

However, the Grizzlies refused to go down without a goal of their own. As the end of the game approached, Kayla De La Merced intercepted a pass near the goal and strode past the defender. She took a step to the side and fired on an open goal.

“I want to emphasize how proud I am of them,” Wheeler said. “It’s a big step for us in the second half of the season. After every tie and every loss were continuing to build and grow.”

Hart will return home to host Valencia on Tuesday. Golden Valley will host Canyon on the same day. Both games are at 3:15 p.m.

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