Hilmar High hosted Calaveras High on Thursday in the first round of the Division V Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. In their seventh consecutive postseason appearance, the Yellowjackets defeated the Redskins, 5-2, to advance for the second round of the playoffs.
“I guess I can say that I have been pretty fortunate,” Hilmar head coach Louie Bettencourt said.
“I want to congratulate my team for a job well done all the way around, from the goalie all the way to the forwards,” he said. “[I] am really pleased with their performance, they came out strong and believed in themselves and they did a great job.”
The first two of three goals came in the 9th and 11th minutes from striker Olivia Gemperle. Kinsey Pettigrew hit the back of the net for the third score with 26 minutes in play of the first half. Not even eight minutes into the second half, Jaimee Rocha threaded the needle with a great pass to set up Gemperle to complete her hat trick. Bernadette Silveira finished the scoring for Hilmar in the 16th minute of the second half after Pettigrew swung in a cross.
“I've just been working with some of them for over four years, they have the system down,” Bettencourt said. “You know when you try to play the triangle that makes it very easy to move without the ball; it’s very effective.”
After Thursday's victory, the Yellowjackets are now on a six game winning streak and have won seven of their last eight games with a record of 16-4-2 overall.
“Hopefully, [my] strikers keep putting pressure and then my mid field holds the mid field and keeps feeding them the balls so once that gets on rolling, it just keeps coming,” Bettencourt said.
The ‘Jackets will now travel to Galt for the second round and face off against first seeded and 18th ranked in the state Liberty Ranch on Wednesday.
“We just gotta push it on to the next game, the same way,” Bettencourt said.