The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Girls Soccer ties The King’s Academy 0-0

The Matadors draw with TKA despite multiple injuries
Junior+and+outside+back+Erin+Handlesman+arches+her+leg+back+to+take+a+powerful+shot+at+the+soccer+ball+downfield.
Daphne Huang
Junior and outside back Erin Handlesman arches her leg back to take a powerful shot at the soccer ball downfield.

Varsity Girls Soccer tied with The King’s Academy 0-0 on Thursday, Nov. 30, in its first tournament of the season. MVHS and TKA went back and forth, neither team giving the other an opportunity to take a shot at the goal in the first half. Although both teams found openings in the others’ defense in the second half, both teams remained unable to score, bringing the team’s overall record to 0-2-1.

The tie followed a series of losses, as the team fell in the last two games to Branham High School and Leland High School 0-6 and 0-9, respectively. Freshman and wing Hanaa Mohamed attributes this improvement to better team chemistry, which led to better communication on the field.

“We had more possession than the other games and we were connecting more passes and taking more shots,” Mohamed said. “We were playing less individually and more as a team. I think that’s because we’ve had more experience together.”

Head Coach Jose Vargas echoes Mohamed’s sentiment but emphasizes that the team still has room for improvement. He hopes to work on the team’s first touch, controlling the ball after receiving it, as well as positioning themselves in a way that complements the team.

“If you can make a first touch clean, then you can transition and do something with the ball quicker,” Vargas said. “When you don’t do it clean, you’re still trying to gain control of the ball. Opposing players will put pressure so you’re unable to do much of anything because by the time you’re ready to take the next step with the ball, you’re already under pressure. The other area of improvement is just positioning — knowing where they need to be in certain aspects of the game.”

Junior Maya Gallo adds that since players of the team come from different clubs and have unique soccer backgrounds, it is difficult to maintain a high-level competitive game while learning each others’ styles. She says that despite being a relatively fast and versatile player herself, she missed a few chances to score, as she switched between two positions — right attacking wing and center back — throughout the game.

“The team needs to work on being able to switch the field from one side to the other and dropping and moving forward as a unit,” Gallo said. “I think we’re leaving a few too many gaps in the center and as a result, we’re allowing the other team to have all these open pockets to break down our lines.”

The team sustained multiple injuries towards the end of the game which Vargas says is common at the beginning of the season as players are still getting used to the amount of physical exertion required. He believes that they will quickly adjust and has high hopes for the team’s results in their league.

“This year, we’re just trying to finish at the top of the league,” Vargas said. “Last year, we finished in second and missed the playoffs by a couple of points. So, right now in preseason, we’re still gauging how we are compared to the other teams. But we always look to finish at the top of the league. We lost four games last year so my challenge to the team was to match that this year.”

About the Contributors
Daphne Huang, Sports Editor
Daphne Huang is currently a senior and a sports editor for El Estoque. When she manages to escape the paws of her attention-seeking husky, she can usually be found playing badminton, managing cat cafes or spending time with family and friends.
Liz Liu, Staff Writer
Liz Liu is currently a sophomore and a staff writer for El Estoque. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, cooking, and watching her pet gecko.
Stella Petzova, Staff Writer
Stella is currently a sophomore and a staff writer for El Estoque. When she's not doing homework, she loves to bike around Cupertino, paint, eat sushi, listen to music and pet her cat.
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