Girls soccer: Matadors frustrated after loss to rival Cupertino HS

Back to Article
Back to Article

Girls soccer: Matadors frustrated after loss to rival Cupertino HS

Akshara Majjiga

Returning to their home turf on a sunny Friday of Jan 15, MVHS took the field against Cupertino HS. According to freshman Samantha Chan, as long as their passes connected and their gameplay was fast, they were looking to have a strong game against their rivals. But unable to communicate as effectively as they had hoped, MVHS lost the game with a final score of 4-2.

A penalty kick due to a hand ball resulted in the first of four goals for CHS. This was the only goal scored by either side in the first half. Photo by Akshara Majjiga

A penalty kick due to a hand ball resulted in the first of four goals for CHS. This was the only goal scored by either side in the first half. Photo by Akshara Majjiga

After warm up and conferences for both teams, the game began fast. All the players played with energy and there were multiple shots on the goal, but no scores, except for a misread penalty kick that resulted in a goal for CHS. The game was played on both sides of the field with neither team dominating offensively and most of the gameplay occurring at midfield, save for some sprints down the sidelines.

“In the beginning,” sophomore Mansi Reddy said, “we had a lot of possession and smart plays.”

By halftime, the sun had begun to go down, but the team’s enthusiasm had not. After an action packed yet somewhat uneventful first half with CHS leading 1-0, both teams were eager to continue the game.

At the half, coach DJ Driscoll spoke to the players about speeding up their gameplay to tire the opposing team out and take advantage of CHS’ poor defense.

As the second half began, it was clear that MVHS was dominating. They were playing faster and smarter than the CHS team. Good communication between forwards sophomore Nina Biondi,senior Alissa Paterson and senior Rachel Poulo resulted in two uncontested goals. Paterson and Poulo helped Biondi tear through the defense resulting in one-on-one situations with the goalie, shocking the CHS team, as their narrow lead had rapidly diminished and MVHS was ahead 2-1.

Sophomore Nina Biondi beats a CHS defender to score a goal for her team. Biondi scored both of the team's goals and put them ahead 2-1 for the time being.

Sophomore Nina Biondi beats a CHS defender to score a goal for her team. Biondi scored both of the team’s goals and put them ahead 2-1 for the time being. Photo by Akshara Majjiga

The team began to gain momentum and confidence from Biondi’s two consecutive goals in under ten minutes. MVHS had developed a rhythm, and they were looking to maintain their lead. Still, the game was far from over.

Soon, the ball shifted to the MVHS side of the field, and that’s where it stayed for the rest of the game. One quick CHS player Courtney Chan proved to be too much for the MVHS defense, and their inability to keep her contained cost MVHS the game. She ended the game with a hat trick, scoring three out of the four goals for CHS, all in the final minutes of the game.

“I feel like it was our game at the beginning,” Reddy said, “but we began playing to their level and not our best.”

With their large lead and the outcome of the game solidified, CHS maintained possession of the ball through the final whistle, ending the game with a final score of 4-2.

The players were frustrated after this unexpected defeat. Paterson believed that their loss had been due to the team’s franticness after CHS’ strong plays and shots on the goal. They knew that they had not played their best game, but there were still some takeaways.

“We need to work on playing with intensity from the beginning,” Paterson said. “We’ll definitely build on this game. It was a tough one but hopefully we’ll build on it and play better next time.

The team’s next home game is on Monday Jan. 25 at 3:30pm against Los Altos HS.


Photos by Akshara Majjiga.