It came down to defense and a goal scored by one of the top players in the league as Archbishop Mitty held on to beat Los Gatos 1-0 to claim the Central Coast Section field hockey championship at Cupertino High School on Saturday.
Mitty (18-3-2) and Los Gatos both lost heartbreakers in last year's semifinals. Both wanted redemption this year.
Two of the strongest teams in the area have histories of being top programs. Los Gatos won the CCS championship in 2010, while Mitty won in 2006.
But this is where their similarities end.
The teams employ different styles of play -- Los Gatos is more methodical in its attack and Mitty focuses on ball speed, spacing, and passing. Yet, both teams were evenly matched as they split their games this season.
With 25:38 left in the second half, senior forward Agustina Singh scored with an assist from Rebecca Toy.
"We spread out and Rebecca beat a girl one-on-one and Augie finished it," said Mitty coach Justina Williams. "We scored because they were willing to look inside. They had the discipline to stick to the game plan."
After the goal Los Gatos (14-2-1) went on the attack, staying on offense for more than four minutes. A few missed shots on goal, and senior and two-year captain Maria Brown took a penalty stroke that went high above the goal.
"I thought we got into a little rhythm there," said Los Gatos coach Henry Reyes, who has guided his team to 10 league championships. "We had some chances, but they did a great job on defense. It was a game of inches ... we both had shots that hit the pipes."
Mitty's defense stiffened up this time.
"We have been working hard on defense and keeping the ball in front of us," said Singh.
Once Mitty was able to get back on offense, its game seemed to open up with breakaways, passing, and more shots on goal.
"We used the field a lot and were able to wear them out," said Singh. "Once we scored, it put it in perspective of how we could make this happen."
Archbishop Mitty 1, Los Gatos 0
Archbishop Mitty 0 1--1
Los Gatos 0 0--0
AM--Agustina Singh (Rebecca Toy)
Records--Los Gatos 14-2-1; Archbishop Mitty 18-3-2