MORGAN She may be only a freshman, but Danielle Gaztambide already possesses the right skills and instincts to turn a game in her team's favor.
When Gaztambide subbed in early in the first half, Judge Memorial had already fallen a goal behind a resurgent Morgan squad. She quickly took matters into her own hands and attacked the net at will.
"I knew I had to bring some energy on the field," Gaztambide said. "I didn't start and then when I came on I was determined to pick it up and I think it worked."
Her play offered a boost rivaling any brand of energy drink. Gaztambide scored her second hat trick of the season including both first-half goals for the Bulldogs to lead Judge to a 6-2 victory over the Trojans on Tuesday afternoon.
Morgan struck first, going up 1-0 in the 14th minute when Chelsea Fairbourn finished a drive by lobbing the ball over Natalie Warner. Gaztambide quickly shifted momentum in the other direction with her own pair of killer drives.
She tied the game in the 33rd minute by driving down the middle of the penalty area and flicking the ball into the net. Kari Reed came out to block Gaztambide, but she sidestepped Reed and drove around her left side to create a clear shot.
The scenario repeated itself again two minutes later, except this time Gaztambide pivoted around Reed on the right to smack home the go-ahead goal.
The Trojans quickly evened things up, making it 2-2 on Becca Rees' penalty kick in the 36th minute. But the damage was done. Judge knew it had discovered just how to exploit Morgan's fatal flaws.
All because of some clutch plays from a freshman.
"She really brought a lot of energy on the field and that was a big turning point for us," Bulldogs coach Jim Ngo said. "When she came on, it reminded (us) that everybody has to give 100 percent effort for us to be successful against a tough team like Morgan."
Judge wasted no time in taking control after halftime. The Bulldogs took a 3-2 lead when Morgan Rockwell slid the ball past the right post in the 49th minute and went up 4-2 in the 52nd minute when Kiersten Berg lobbed a shot over Reed's head and dropped it down behind her.
Once Gaztambide knocked in her third goal following a scramble for the ball after a corner kick in the 54th minute Judge had things well in hand."We showed a lot of heart in the second half," Ngo said. "That's one of the hallmarks of Judge soccer."