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Gonzales gets hat trick as Hilmar dominates Ben Holt in playoff opener
Hilmar girls soccer
Hilmar striker Brisa Gonzales notched her second hat trick of the season on Saturday during the Yellowjackets’ Division 5 playoff game against Ben Holt College Prep Academy of Stockton. Hilmar won 6-0 (ALEX MORALES/The Journal).

The Hilmar Yellowjackets displayed dominance for all 80-plus minutes of game time on Saturday afternoon in their 6-0 win over the Ben Holt College Prep Academy Bobcats of Stockton (17-4-1, 13-0 Central California Athletic Alliance) in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 girls soccer playoffs. The No. 4 seed in the eight-team bracket, the Yellowjackets (20-5-2, 9-1 Trans-Valley League) are now rewarded a road trip to Sonora to take on the No. 1 seeded Wildcats (16-5-1, 9-0-1 Mother Lode League) today at 6 p.m. in the semifinal round.

Scoring half of the Hilmar's goals Saturday was striker Brisa Gonzales, who had her second hat trick of the season. She struck first in the 36th minute on a free kick from near midfield. Her second goal came in the 66th minute, floating the ball over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Lauren Gini from just outside the penalty area. The star sophomore capped off the day with a 20-yard strike into the back of the net in the 76th minute. She now has 26 goals on the year.

Gonzales spoke about her confidence and willingness to attempt shots from long range.  

“I mean, if they leave me open, I might as well take the shots,” she said. “I take any shot I can get (and not) waste any opportunity.”

Kicking off the scoring Saturday was sophomore Sidney Logsdon, who scored directly in front of the goal line in the fourth minute after receiving a cross from freshman Raylynn Mendoza. Mendoza joined in on the scoring fun in extra time of the first half. Alexis Aguiar was Hilmar’s other scorer, knocking the ball in just two minutes into the second half.

As the Yellowjackets racked up 14 shots-on-goal, the Bobcats were only able to string together three shots in the entire match, with just two being on target. Both were saved without trouble by junior goalie Kayden Elston.

Hilmar head coach Guy Bettencourt explained that the game plan coming in was to neutralize Ben Holt’s top scorer, junior Bailey Roberson, who had 29 goals coming into Saturday. It’s safe to say that they accomplished the mission.

“This was probably the best game that they have played so far,” Bettencourt said of his team. “They were being aggressive. They were winning the 50/50 balls. Our goal was to keep a clean sheet and neutralize #13 that had 29 goals, and we did a fantastic job. We tracked her as soon as she got into midfield and before she had a chance to get any momentum.”

Assistant coach and Hilmar alumna Betzy Chavez also praised the defensive effort, which may have been overlooked by the offense’s scoring frenzy.

“They’re great,” she said. “They’re quick studies. They like to ask questions, which makes us feel good as coaches. They want to get better.”

They’ll need the defense to step up again today against the top-seeded Sonora team that averages 4.5 goals per game. If the Yellowjackets were to pull off the upset against the Wildcats, they would play in the section title game for the second season in a row this weekend at Cosumnes River College in Elk Grove.