By GERARDO RECINOS
On March 3, 2013, the girls lacrosse program officially kicked off.
There was a team prior to that fateful March day. But that day the program was able to call itself something they hadn’t ever been referred to as.
They were winners.
Fast forward four years and two months from their first ever win, the Lady Bulldogs have officially qualified for a North Coast Section berth with their 11-5 win over Livermore on May 3.
A lot still has to happen with the NCS selection process for everything to be official, but coaches John Sasaki and Richard Philbrook are fairly confident in their team’s fate.
With the win, the Bulldog girls improve to 8-11, with a 5-10 record in Diablo Athletic League play. In last year’s playoffs, Justin Sienna-Napa entered with a sub-.500 record, as did Acalanes.
MaxPreps.com’s playoff predictor has the Bulldogs slotted in as the 11th best team in Division II, but the Bulldogs still have to content with the tough Campolindo Cougars on May 5 before they can celebrate.
Not that it stopped them from deservedly doing so on Wednesday night.
Especially when Livermore showed up to the party, ate all the cake and opened all the presents.
The Cowboys looked ready to spoil the fun with the shift they put in the first half.
Alhambra’s attackers were smothered, and struggled to put many shots in the back of the net. It took eight minutes for the Bulldogs to eventually score. Ellie Smith was the beneficiary of a loose ground ball that she forced home from just outside the crease to open Alhambra’s account.
Isa Mendoza sparked the second goal, which gave Alhambra its first lead. The senior middie started the counter-attack move before making an outlet pass that eventually found Lexie Rosales. The senior finished off the counter attack with the ball in the net.
It was Rosales who again gave the Bulldogs a small lead in the last minute of the half after slicing between defenders to score.
But a one-goal lead at the half didn’t seem to satisfy the Alhambra girls.
Anytime Alhambra scored, Livermore answered. The goal that broke the Cowboys came on an errant pass clearance from the Livermore goalkeeper. Again it was Rosales that made the big play. The senior attacker intercepted the pass and took it on her own to score the game’s first unanswered goal by either team.
Then Jadyn London followed it up by taking a great pass from Luiza Daberdaku and eventually scoring after a foul call stopped play briefly.
Now when the teams went back to trading goals, Alhambra was the team with the advantage, and they could play a little more freely.
Daberdaku’s second goal double the Bulldog lead at 8-4, and then her third answered yet another Livermore goal.
Determined to see the Cowboys off, both Daberdaku and London scored once more in the final three minutes of play, so as to not give their opponents any idea or hope that they could steal this one.
From the time they knew that a win over the Cowboys would be the final piece to the NCS puzzle, this team wasn’t going to be stopped.