Her cheeks flush, Rachel Callister sat legs crossed, water bottle in hand, collecting her breath.
The first 40 minutes of Monday's Central California Conference match were like a marathon for the Golden Valley midfielder.
She never stopped moving and her effort produced a goal in the 25th minute to help lead GV to a 5-1 victory over Buhach Colony.
That snapped a three-game losing streak for the once-streaking Cougars (9-5-2, 1-3 CCC), weakened by injuries in recent weeks.
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"We've had a rough start, but we're getting better and improving," Callister said. "We're pretty excited to get this win. You could probably hear us."
Tracking Callister on the field wasn't nearly as easy. The hard-working center kept darting and diving between Buhach Colony defenders, extending plays with her hustle and distribution.
She had BC (4-6-1, 0-4-1) on its heels in the first half, as GV had five corner kicks and five shots on goal in the first 5 minutes. Callister finally scored the first goal.
Stepping in front of Buhach Colony goalie Mykaela Macias, Callister redirected an Alexandra Eber cross inside the left post. The ball hit off Callister's ankle, not her foot, and trickled inside the post.
"That was just her determination," GV coach Lee Shaw said. "She never stopped working. If every player put out her kind of work, we'd have no problems."
Vanesa Vega, Samantha Guzman, Sara Callister and Belinda Zagal also had goals for GV.
"We needed to get a win -- against anybody," said Shaw, whose Cougars face rival Merced Wednesday.
Alejandra Zarate produced BC's only goal with an 18-yard shot in the 68th minute of the match.