After coaching girls' field hockey for 21 years at Santiago High, Kit Snider is retiring. Saturday morning, her team gave her a going away present--a 2-1 victory over Marina in the Sunset League Tournament of Champions.
Snider, who has been instrumental in keeping field hockey programs alive in the county, was overwhelmed with emotion after the victory.
"What a way to go into my retirement," said a teary-eyed Snider. "There could be no greater gift from these kids."
Under her direction, Santiago won six championships and eight consecutive Sunset League titles. This year, Edison won the league title from the defending champions, but Santiago (12-4-3) refused to go away empty-handed.
"We missed the league title this year, but this is a good trade-off," Snider said. "Maybe my kids had a little more motivation."
Junior forward Amber Puskas got Santiago rolling after a slow start. She chased down a long pass from teammate Sandra Rodriguez and drove the ball by Marina goalkeeper Stacey Carman to give Santiago a 1-0 lead, 10 minutes 44 seconds into the first half.
Marina (15-3-4), however, tied the score at the 8:15 mark in the second half. Laura Holman forced the ball into the back of the net.
But Santiago's offense was too much to handle for the Vikings. The Cavaliers outshot Marina, 11-6. They put the game away when a shot by senior Ivonne Monroy was blocked by Carman and Rodriguez slammed in the rebound with about five minutes left to play.
In the third-place game, Jeanette Antongiori and Andrea Wiles each scored a goal to lead Edison to a 2-0 victory over Bonita. Antongiori and Tammi Miller of Edison shared the most valuable player award for the tournament.