By GERARDO RECINOS
For the fifth time in a row the Lady Bulldog lacrosse team tangled with the Ygnacio Valley Warriors with the team from Concord getting the upper hand.
Not without drama, the game was decided by a late goal with less than a minute left on the clock.
Both teams were evenly matched until sophomore attacker Sara Hernandez struck from a restart to give the excited Warriors the 8-7 win.
The Warriors were on top for most of the contest, and they looked to be the more aggressive side especially when it came to winning 50-50 ground balls, but neither team could extend a big lead.
Alhambra started the game off at a nice pace, and goals from Sarah Mills and Kelby Fuss had the Bulldogs flying in the early stages of the match.
But the Warriors would respond early and often.
Sophomore Kalina Campos twice slipped past the Alhambra defenders, using her lack of stature as an advantage to slip between the Bulldog back line.
Her first goal of the match came on a low shot that barely slid past Alhambra keeper Theresa Hansen, who’s line of sight was impeded.
The second goal from Campos came as she beat the Alhambra defender around the goal and scored from a tight angle.
Again Alhambra answered. Senior captain Luiza Daberdaku made a nice stick check in her own territory before making a decisive outlet pass to Isa Mendoza, whose run found her in front of goal. Mendoza slipped her shot slickly through the goalkeeper to help the Bulldogs retake the lead.
Until the half, the Bulldogs seemed unable to be stopped. Until they were. Suddenly the slick passing on display was lost, and the desire to win ground balls was more visible from the Ygnacio team.
Senior captain Sofia Campos scored twice for the Warriors before the halftime buzzer to give her team the lead, and at the start of the second half it seemed as if the halftime team talk did more damage than good.
Ygnacio came out firing. Sofia Campos scored again despite Alhambra having the better chances on goal up until that point.
That goal buoyed the rest of her team. Fabiola Donado took advantage of a lapse in play from the Bulldogs to beat the Alhambra keeper and open up a three-goal lead, forcing coach John Sasaki to take a time out.
The timeout did what Sasaki needed it to do for his team. They took a deep breath and decided to make a game of it.
Goals from Daberdaku and Jaydyn London evened things up yet again, but Hernandez answered those two with one of her own.
London matched that effort to bring things level at 7-7 with only two minutes on the clock.
At that point it was clear that one of the two teams would use their last possession to win the game, it was just a matter of which team it would be.
From the face off, Daberdaku was surrounded by nearly five Ygnacio players, and was forced to turn the ball over. Ygnacio’s final possession in the attacking half of the field was clinical and Hernandez’s fourth goal of the game was it’s decider.