HANFORD — The Huskies got off to a 1-0 start on the season by doubling up Mission Oak 12-6 in a non-league game at Hanford West High School on Wednesday.

Hanford West’s Katie Kevorkian led the scoring department and singlehandedly tied the Hawks’ output with a game-high six goals, including five in the second half.

“Their offense was really predictable so I took that to my advantage,” Kevorkian said. “They were really trying to all bombard me so the faster that the ball came I shot it and I would make it.”

The senior center imposed her will in the hole during the third quarter when she scored three consecutive goals for the Huskies (1-0) and gave them a 7-4 lead. Kevorkian also scored the final two goals of the match on fast break opportunities.

“It’s just good to have that fire and energy going into your season,” Kevorkian said. “I feel like with the win now we know what we need to work on.”

The two teams started slow with a 1-1 tie after the first quarter. Mission Oak (0-1) didn’t score until three minutes had elapsed in the quarter and Hanford West’s Dariene Andrade tied the game at the buzzer from about seven meters out.

“They always find their groove after that first quarter,” Hanford West first-year head coach Rachel Bradley said. “The first quarter is always the testing point. They always wake up and come back.”

The goal seemed to settle the team as they scored 11 goals over the next three quarters. Giselle Lafarga gave the Huskies their first lead of the game with 3:17 left in the half on a 6-on-5 opportunity. Mission Oak tied the game 21 seconds later, but it was the last time the two teams would be even.

You have free articles remaining.

Become a Member

Kevorkian scored her first goal with 2:39 left in the second quarter, which put them out in front for good. Hanford West’s Eva McIlwaine, who scored three of her own goals, struck from the left wing just before halftime to give the Huskies a 4-2 advantage.

Hanford West led 8-5 after the third quarter and took a 10-5 lead with goals by McIlwaine and Gabby Mendoza to start the fourth. McIlwaine put a perfectly placed lob over the goalkeeper and Mendoza cleaned up a rebound in front of the net.

“It feels pretty good, always nice to start the season off with a win,” Bradley said. “Now if we can just keep it going it’ll be even better.”

The Hawks couldn’t keep pace and scored only once in the final quarter thanks in part to the excellent goalkeeping by Hanford West’s Kaytlyn Boling. She turned away multiple scoring chances, including some at point-blank range.

In reality, I feel like it’s based off luck part of it, but part of it’s based off skill,” Boling said. “But otherwise it’s based off angles and skill and just movement.”

The Huskies went 10-14 overall last season and 1-6 in the Central Sequoia League, and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2014, according to MaxPreps. The team is hoping for a better outcome this season.

“I think this season it’s truly coming together as a team,” Bradley said. “Just trying to get everyone to gel, communicate and we have the strength, we have the skills and now we just need to combine it all together and extend our winning streak.”

Hanford West will continue its season against Sierra Pacific next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Hanford West High School. Sierra Pacific defeated Hanford West 18-4 last season.

Coming Soon: Get in the game with our Prep Sports Newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Noe Garcia can be reached at (559) 583-2431 or ngarcia@hanfordsentinel.com. Follow Noe on Twitter at @noecarlosgarcia.

Load comments