There will be a few goals for the Alhambra girls lacrosse team to cross off their list this season, and one of them will probably be to play complete matches.
The Bulldog girls have steadied a formerly shaky program by making big strides over the past few seasons, but their program is still in its infancy when compared to opponents like Thursday (Feb. 26) night’s rival, the College Park Falcons.
The Falcons are coming off a season where they were knocked out of the North Coast Section playoffs by the 52nd best girls lacrosse team in the country, Granite Bay.
They themselves were knocked out by Novato, the section champion, and according to MaxPreps, last season’s eighth best team in the country.
The Lady Bulldogs played the first half the way they would’ve wanted to, leaving it only down a single goal after strong defensive work and excellent goalkeeping by Theresa Hansen.
The Alhambra net-minder made a save in the opening three minutes which allowed Alhambra’s Kelby Fuss to allow Alhambra to take a brief lead.
Hansen made five saves in the opening half to keep things close, and allowed her attackers and midfielders a breather.
Twice in the first half College Park would even things up, and twice it was Fuss who would put Alhambra back ahead.
Brooke Bechter broke down a tired looking Alhambra defense to level things at 2-2, and Maddie Gorham followed to score straight away after Hansen was forced to make yet another save.
College Park scored once more, but it was Alhambra who would score with seven seconds before the buzzer to give themselves some life.
Captain Luiza Daberdaku started the move with a ground ball win, and her outlet pass found Sarah Mills, who made a couple of moves before scoring with only seven seconds left on the clock.
In the first half, John Sasaki got everything he wanted from his team, but in the second half it went sour.
College Park scored three times before Alhambra could do anything about it. Emily Ramos’ shot cannoned off the post, but Mills followed up her effort to grab her second of the night.
At the time Alhambra was only down 7-4, but as the second half continued, the situation deteriorated.
The Falcons were out-pacing the Bulldogs from the get go, but the Bulldogs had managed to hang on in brief instances. But as the final 10 minutes came off the clock, it was clear the Bulldogs couldn’t keep up with the team speed of College Park.
As it is the opening game of the season, it’s very much possible to say this is just a team needing to iron out some of the kinks of their game.
The Bulldogs did manage to rebound from their loss in the opener by bludgeoning Windsor High School on Saturday, Feb. 27, 19-1 to get their first win of the season.
They followed that up with a win an 11-7 win over Livermore on the road on March 1.