The Highlanders went on the road on October 17 and won 8-3 in a nonleague match against Lick-Wilmerding at City College of San Francisco.
The Highlanders jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first half and controlled the match throughout. Starting games out strong has been an issue this season for Piedmont.
“It was definitely nice to start a game not behind in the first quarter,” Piedmont coach Sarah Mooney said. “And I think the girls definitely saw how much more effective they are when they start out strong and they start out fast.”
Said senior Erin Quick, “It’s really important that we do that. Usually, we end up not starting out super-well in the first quarter but really doing well later.”
Added senior Nora Linnane, “I think the first quarter is really the deciding factor in the game. If you start out strong, it carries throughout the whole game.”
Piedmont improved to 5-4 on the season. The Tigers fell to 3-11. However, Lick-Wilmerding has a terrific goalkeeper in junior Audrey Gallagher. The Highlanders did what you want to do to a top keeper – they peppered her with shots. Gallagher made 17 saves on the day but couldn’t do enough to stop the Piedmont offense.
“The key for me, Sarah was saying, to shoot as fast as I can,” Linnane said. “In order for her not to block it, it has to be past her as fast as possible.”
Added Quick, “And definitely shoot at the corners, at the top corners. The goalie was really good, in terms of what she could reach, she can definitely protect those shots. But in terms of high up and in the corners, it’s very hard to protect those.”
Linnane got Piedmont on the board early, scoring off a pass from Kaelin Campbell just 11 seconds into the game. After Brynn Palecek tied the score 30 seconds later, the Highlanders scored the next five. Rosie Feldman put a high shot past Gallagher to give Piedmont the lead for good. Feldman set up Linnane for a goal with 4:23 to go in the first quarter that made it 3-1.
Linnane completed her hat trick with 4:48 left in the second quarter to make it 4-1. Ella Wright and Feldman completed the run with goals.
It looked like the Highlanders would take a 6-1 lead into the break, but at the buzzer, Gallagher fired a “the heck with it” shot from the other end of the pool that went in for a goal by the goalie.
The Tigers got the first goal of the second half, but a goal by Feldman made for the final margin. Mooney was able to get all of her players into the game.
Lick-Wilmerding coach Keeon Jabbour said that Gallagher is getting recruited and he hopes she wants to continue her career in college.
“She’s having an outstanding year,” Jabbour said. “As in 10-plus saves per game. We were at a tournament and she had 60 saves in three games.”
For Piedmont, it’s all about fine-tuning in preparation for the West Alameda County League and North Coast Section playoffs. The team is starting to gel under its first-year coach.
“It’s great. They’ve all improved so much,” Mooney said. “Both the speed and skillwise so it’s super-fun to see.”
Photos by Nancy Brahm and Lynne Bourgault Wright