On a William Chrisman girls soccer team loaded with upperclassmen, forward Emma Gervy stands out.
That’s because she is the lone freshman who has consistently started for the Bears. She showed why she is a regular in Monday’s game against crosstown rival Truman. She notched a hat trick, scoring all of the Bears’ goals in a 3-2 victory at Truman High School.
Chrisman head coach John Straub said he’s always had confidence in Gervy starting with a team playing mostly juniors and seniors. That’s because she’s a skilled scorer and she tied for the team lead for most goals.
“Emma has been great for us,” Straub said. “She’s reads the game very well and always seems to find the right spot to pick up the goal or the assist.”
She picked the right spot in the 77th minute of a game that was tied 2-2. Senior Katie Laughlin sent a long kick from midfield and the ball bounced inside the 18-yard box as fellow senior Tierra Lopez headed the ball forward. The ball bounced up and Gervy got her head on it as players scrambled for the ball. It rolled over the goal line for the game-winner.
“Thank you Tierra for getting me the assist on the hat trick,” Gervy said. “It was kind of a reach. and I had to jump and head it backward.”
That capped a back-and-forth battle between both teams as Truman struck first in the ninth minute. Freshman defender Melany Esperaza lobbed a pass over a Chrisman defender to a wide-open Valerie Xayaphet, who slipped a shot past Bears goalkeeper Karina Vela for a 1-0 lead.
Gervy later notched the equalizer in the 38th minute. She chased down a long throw-in from Lopez, collided with defender Vanessa Reyes, eluded goalkeeper Abigail Mortensen and punched the ball into an empty net.
“I knew (Truman) is a challenging team, so I told myself, ‘I have to play hard this game,’” Gervy said. “‘I have to challenge myself.’ And I did it.”
Gervy showed off her leg with 7.2 seconds left in the half when she had a direct free kick from just outside the top right corner of the Truman penalty box. She perfectly placed the ball over the outstretched hands of a leaping Mortensen and just under the crossbar, giving the Bears (12-2) a 2-1 edge going into the break.
“Emma had a lot of soccer experience,” Straub said. “It was easy to see how she reads the game and has a knack for scoring and she’s going to progress to be a very good soccer player.”
Vela got a couple of key collections early in the second half when Truman had numbers up top to help her team keep a one-goal lead. Gervy had one shot saved by a diving Mortensen on a shot that could have put the game away.
In the 74th minute, Vela illegally picked up the ball after a teammate already touched it, which resulted in a direct free kick for Truman just inside the upper left corner of the 18-yard box. Burton drilled a shot off the fingertips of a leaping Vela to tie it at 2-all.
But Truman (4-10) couldn’t stop Gervy from getting a hat trick and Chrisman a win.
“This was actually the first time all season we had the game starting lineup that we did the day before,” Truman coach Manny Tovar said. “We’re starting to get some players back.
“(Our progress) was fine, seeing as this was only the second game that we had the same starting lineup. We missed some chances in the first half and even in the second half.”