Boys Soccer falls to Saratoga High School 5-2

MVHS falls to Saratoga High School in their fourth league game of the season


Aashna Patel

Senior Edin Kraja switches the field and shields the ball from an opposing team player.

Varsity Boys Soccer lost their fourth league game to Saratoga High School with a score of 5-2 on Thursday, Jan. 13.

Senior and captain Edin Kraja scored MVHS’s first goal in the first half of the game. However, after three consecutive goals from SHS during the second half, “everybody lost a little bit of hope.” In the last quarter, senior and captain Shervin Jalilvand scored the game’s final goal through a penalty kick in a last attempt to raise the score. 

“We had to keep yelling at each other to keep going and motivate each other,” Kraja said. “We got that last goal and we almost kept pushing for a few more, but it was unlucky.”

Despite the team’s strong start, Kraja noticed that they got “caught off guard” when SHS changed their tactics in the first half by “overloading the ball on one side [of the field]”, which allowed them more chances to gain possession of the ball. After SHS increased their intensity even more in the first 15 minutes of the second half with three consecutive goals , Kraja could sense that the team “switched off a little bit.”

“We [can] improve on… [zonal] defending,” Kraja said. “Oftentimes we got beat and there was no coverage and [when] you beat one guy… you have people behind them… We [have] to work to defend when we have less numbers.”

Junior Abhinav Shanbhag adds that he hopes that this loss will motivate the players to work harder and increase their confidence in future games. Shanbhag partially attributes the loss to a lack of confidence and the refs’ false calls, which resulted in not enough speed and intensity on MVHS’s part. 

“It’s just unlucky. Sometimes you get a good ref. Sometimes you get bad refs, [and] there’s nothing you can do about it,” Shanbhag said. “In this game, we had bad refs but I don’t think we can keep blaming the refs. We got to really focus more on our game, making sure that we win no matter what the ref is like.” 

Both Kraja and Shanbhag agree that while there were various things the team could have improved upon, they excelled in fighting for the ball until the end of the game. 

“We did lose today, but I feel like overall we just need to go back and analyze what we did wrong, really make sure that we know what our mistakes [were in] this game and make sure we learn about it,” Shanbag said. “And I’m sure that we’ll come back next game strong and I really do believe that this team can win the season.”