By Ryan Menzie
For The Signal
Despite the scorching heat, calls that could’ve gone either way and a physical game all around, the Hart girls soccer team couldn’t be stopped on their April 30 senior night against Canyon.
Canyon struggled to score throughout the game. Their best chances came off penalty kicks that grazed the goalpost or popped right over the top on unlucky bounces. Despite Canyon’s best efforts, the Indians controlled the game.
“We’ve been playing everyone tough, and we’ve had our ups and downs throughout the season,” Hart coach Guilherme Mitrovitch said after the 2-0 win. “I thought we did a good job scoring the early goal, and controlling the game … I was pleased how we played and especially representing our seniors today.”
The game-controlling goal was scored by junior captain Maggie Yoshioka at the nine-minute mark. The goal was set up by strong footwork and an assist by Alexis Nguyen.
“Alexis took it down and drew the two center defenders away,” said Yoshioka. “It was textbook; she slotted it to me right on the 45, and all I had to do was tap it in.”
Yoshioka likes to lead by example, keeping her mindset in the right place. As captain, she said she needs to be there for her team as someone who can be called upon when in need of help. However, she also understands this is the last season for the seniors, teammates she loves and looks up to.
“I just want them to know how much everyone on the team appreciates how much they’ve done for us,” said Yoshioka. “No matter where they go in life, we will be cheering for them the whole time.”
Canyon never let up and played hard to the end, but the Indians, along with Nguyen, proved too much to handle. Nguyen contributed on both goals for the Indians with one score and one assist.
“I just went in with a relaxed mindset and trusted my teammates,” Nguyen said. “Just working as hard as I can and looking for my teammates. I have confidence that we’re going to do well the rest of the season and, hopefully, finish top three.”
From the sidelines, the parents stayed vocal for their daughters, as the referees got an earful from both parents and coaches.
At times, the most vocal person on the field was Mitrovitch, who said he wants to motivate his players, but has toned it down since his daughter now plays as well.
“I’m definitely on the passionate side,” Mitrovitch said. “I used to be even more intense. I sometimes think it’s good, but if you don’t know, sometimes it can be a bit tricky as well.”