By John Philip Wyllie
After a nearly disastrous start, the Bonita Vista Baron Field Hockey Team has staged a late-season rally to post a winning record three games over .500. They now find themselves within striking distance of a league title. Center forward and team captain Lillian Zamora has been one of the catalysts in their surprising turn around.
“We were 1-5-1 at one point, but we have improved to 9-6-1 so we have come a long way,” said Barons coach Ralph Carrier. “Lillian has been a very solid part of our recovery. We got off to very shaky start in the pre-league season. We were playing well, but we weren’t getting any wins. Lillian and the other captains held us together, helped us to refocus our efforts and helped us to deal with the hole we were in initially. She has kept us on an even keel.”
A main cog in the Baron attack, Zamora is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. She is not blindingly fast, but she is very quick to the ball and knows how to distribute it once it is secured.
“Lillian has great touch with a stick, can control the ball and can find our speedsters on the outside. She is capable of scoring, but she has adopted the role of our playmaker and has made it work really well for us,” Carrier said.
After struggling against some very tough North County competition early in the season, the Barons have defeated their top league opponents Eastlake and Hilltop (twice). They have emerged as the team to beat in the Mesa League and Zamora has developed into a team leader.
“Coming into ninth grade I didn’t know a thing about field hockey, but I gave it a chance and found that I liked it. Since then, I have pursued it more and more,” Zamora said. Now a senior and a leader on the Baron team, Zamora directs the flow of play from her center forward position.
“Basically, I direct the other forwards where to position themselves and I also have to keep track of and guide the ball and try to run it towards the goal. I haven’t gotten a lot of scoring opportunities in our league games, but I am hoping that they will come. I did at least score a few goals earlier in the season in our tournaments, Zamora said.” Her recent scoring draught is providing her motivation to get back into the scoring column.
While Zamora would like to continue playing field hockey in college she realizes that those opportunities might be limited. She is not sure what she will pursue academically, but her strong classroom showing in high school has provided her with a lot of options. At one point, she thought she might like to become a doctor working in the field of pediatrics, but that remains to be seen. So too, does the final outcome of what has been a comeback season for the Barons.