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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Girls’ soccer fights uphill battle in De Anza League

courtesy of Chris Ruemmler
Striker Kate Oberhauser at the preseason game.

After joining the higher De Anza division this year, the girls’ soccer team has experienced a rough first half of their season. The Falcons have a record of 2-3-1 as of Jan. 23. 

They lost 3-0 to Santa Clara on Jan. 23, beat Palo Alto 3-1 on Jan. 18, lost 3-0 to Homestead on Jan. 13, lost 3-0 to Mountain View on Jan. 11, tied Los Altos 0-0 on Jan. 9 and beat Gunn 3-1 on Jan. 6.

“Our pre-season (the games that took place in December) was kind of rocky but I think we’ve recently found that drive and passion to play in our games,” senior wing and team captain Aleks Verga said. “When we won our first game against Gunn, it gave us a big morale boost.”

As opposed to an offense-oriented strategy like last year that allowed alumni Anjali Nuggehalli, Lauren Yarrington and various other offense players increasing opportunities to score and ultimately led them deep into CCS, the Falcons changed their formation this year in order to focus on their defense as the level of play has become a lot higher in the upper division . 

Last year, the team played in a 4-3-3 formation. This year, the team shifted into a 5-3-2 formation consisting of five defenders that stepped up to fulfill the needed positions — senior Maya Singla, juniors Jiah Jung, Reva Gupta, Elena Burgos and sophomore Hillary Gonzalez.

“It’s been a bit difficult to fill [defense], but we’ve got players who are willing to play, and they’ve done pretty well,” Jung said.

In the first part of January, rainy weather proved to be a challenge, forcing the varsity team to reschedule two games due to slippery and flooded fields. The team also needed to cancel a few practices, affecting preparation for future games.

With a smaller roster of 22 players and injuries becoming a bigger issue halfway into the season,  the coaches and players have begun to focus on staying healthy and fit to put more emphasis on recovery. 

“Usually we don’t plan too far into the future, but we’re optimistic about playing in CCS and we train hard anyways, even if we don’t make it,” Verga said.

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