Mon, Aug 30 2010 02:13 AM Posted By: John Philip Wyllie
Last year in what was a rebuilding season, the Bonita Vista Barons girls field hockey team finished in a tie for third place in the Mesa League standings a couple of games below .500. With a host of players returning this year, some with two years of experience under coach Ernesto Luna, the hope at BVHS is that the Barons will overtake perennial champion Hilltop and Otay Ranch, last year’s league runner-up.
“We look pretty solid so far,” Luna said. “Many of the girls have been doing a lot of work individually during the off-season. Some of them played in the Futures program and participated in a big tournament in Simi Valley.”
The success of this year’s team will be largely riding on the performance of four outstanding returnees.
Junior Mailyn Nishiguchi has had a very busy off-season playing with various clubs in an effort to improve. Nishiguchi was an effective attacker last year. This year, she will take on an expanded role which will sometimes have her dropping back to help out on defense.
Junior midfielder Sarah Lim is in her third year and has developed excellent stick skills.
“Sarah moves the ball almost at will,” Luna said. “Even her subtle moves will often beat the person challenging her. She will team up this season with midfielder Maddie Paneras and together they will work the ball up the field.”
Senior Vivian Adame has been converted this season into a key defensive player. The transition was an easy one due to her experience playing as a defender on BV’s soccer team.
“Last year Scarlet Tran made some really beautiful saves in goal,” Luna recalled. “If she wasn’t on the ball, we would have given up a lot more goals. She was a little nervous when she made her varsity debut last year, but she ended up making so many saves in that first game that she gained a lot of confidence. Last year was Scarlet’s break-out year. This year, she wants to take control of the defense.”
Other notable players include right side defender Becky Arce, stopper Debbie Crawford, defensive midfielder Jackie Dawson and junior forward Samantha Montoya. Starting on varsity for the first time, Montoya has displayed good speed and improved stick work.
Luna believes that Hilltop is still the team to beat in the Mesa League.
“Hilltop is always the team that we have to beat,” the BVHS coach said. “Their program is very solid. They have won it the last two years which is as long as I have been here. Otay Ranch has built up its program over the last three years so they should be up there (competing for a title) also. I have seen improvement in all of the teams in our league, but we should be able to challenge anyone everywhere.”
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