FALLBROOK — Christina Machado hasn't received the respect she deserves for her play on Fallbrook High School's field hockey team, says her coach, Kathy Yancey.
"It (honorable mention on all-league teams) has to do with the players' attitude from what the other coaches' perceive," said Yancey. "I felt she should have been on the team."
But Machado, a senior, may have had the last laugh.
In Saturday's San Diego Section field hockey final, Machado, The Times' Player of the Week, scored the winning goal in overtime--or flickoffs--as Fallbrook defeated Serra, 2-1.
Not only did the score give Fallbrook the section title, it broke Serra's string of 86 straight victories and seven straight section titles.
"I just kind of psyched her (Serra goalie Allison Kahn) out," said Machado. "My stronger side is the left side. I kept looking at the other side. When they say 'Goalie ready? Stroker ready?' I said 'No.' Then she has to get ready all over again."
In the initial flickoff round, which ended 2-2, Machado scored Fallbrook's second stroke using that strategy. The round is similar to shoot-outs in soccer.
"I think the goalie is more nervous than the stroker," said Machado. "She's the one who has to stop it."
Said Yancey: "I would say she wanted that one more than a lot of others and that makes a big difference with her, how much she wants it.
"Sometimes if it's not that crucial, she can lag a little bit and let others play the position more. She didn't do that (against Serra). She kept her cool by being able to make that final stroke."
Machado's tendency to lag instead of playing as aggressively as Yancey expects is a big reason why Machado was only selected for honorable mention.
"The reason she didn't make it is because of the other coaches' perception. I feel she deserves the recognition," said Yancey.
Machado doesn't agree, however.
"It's just that me and Shari are the most aggressive ones," she said. "I don't think the other coaches like aggressive players."
Despite her lack of recognition from the league, Machado was asked, along with 13 other field hockey players from the county, to play in the National Hockey Festival Thursday through Saturday at Virginia Beach, Va.
"It's a real honor to be invited by the Serra coach and to go back there," Machado said.