Girls' Varsity Soccer suffers close loss to Los Gatos

Despite a 1-2 loss to Los Gatos High School (6-4-2) on Wednesday at Palo Alto High School, the Paly (2-2-4) girls' varsity soccer team focuses on the positives.

Sophomore Cassie Taleno-Dee said the team’s performance was a substantial improvement from the last time they faced off against Los Gatos, where they lost 1-6.

“We were so much more organized and so much more aggressive,” Taleno-Dee said. “Last time they [Los Gatos] beat us 6-1 but this time they only beat us by one goal, which shouldn't have been a penalty.”

Los Gatos scored first, midway through the first half, and scored again during a penalty kick, granting them an early 2-0 lead over the Vikings. Throughout the first half, sophomore Katherine Thomsen and junior Jennifer Solgaard put up a stellar defense, but they weren’t enough against the Wildcats.

Midway through the second half, a goal from Taleno-Dee put the Vikings on the scoreboard. Although the team played aggressively for the remainder of the half, the Vikings were still down by one point as they reached the two-minute warning.

Throughout the second half, Palo Alto struggled to break free from Los Gatos' defense. During the last minutes of the game, Thomsen collided with the Wildcat’s goalie, though they both continued playing. In the end, it was up to sophomore Mariana Kessinger's free kick to tie up the score. However, the ball sailed just above the crossbar, and the Vikings fell just short of reaching a tie.

Thomsen about to directly collide with Los Gatos's goalie.
Kessinger attempts to score a last goal for the Vikings through the free kick. She misses, leading to a final score of 1-2.

Head Coach Aramando Luna views the loss as a learning experience, praising the team's performance and their improvement from the last game against Los Gatos.

“I love the intensity because last time we played them at their place, it was 3-0 at halftime in their favor, and at the end it was 6-1," Luna said. "We really never had a chance. Today ended with us having a chance to tie the game right at the end. So a big improvement.”

Even after the loss, Taleno-Dee and Solgaard are optimistic about the team’s prospects in Wednesday's game and those to follow.

"We really played as a team today instead of individually," Taleno-Dee said. "And that's, I think, what helped us keep the score to a low loss."

“With high school it’s a lot about how well you know these players and how much you click,” Solgaard said. “We just have to keep our standards high, keep pushing, and then the wins will come.”

The Vikings will play against the Saratoga Freddie Falcons at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Saratoga High School.

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Ria Pai


Margaret Li and Ethan Hwang