Almost there: Boys’ soccer team closes in on making another playoff appearance

February 5, 2011 — by Rohan Rajeev

At the beginning of the season, boys’ soccer coach Adam Clarke had high expectations for his team—to finish in at least third place in the De Anza “A” Division, which would qualify them for CCS playoffs. Now, he has started to see these hopes start to take shape, as the team, currently in fourth place as of early February, plays its last few games of the season.

The Falcons will have a chance of grabbing a playoff spot by placing either fourth or fifth place, as wild cards, because they managed to remain undefeated during the preseason. However, coach Adam Clarke expects no less than third place from his team.

“We want to control our own destiny,” he said. “This division is very talented, but I feel our squad is talented enough to have a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.”

To strengthen the team and to secure a playoff spot, Clarke decided to recruit sophomore midfielder Amin Mirzadegan and freshman defender William Guy from the JV team. They both debuted for the Falcons and their 1-0 win at Santa Clara on Jan. 7.

“[Mirzadegan and Guy] showed potential for the next level from the beginning, and contributed to the team’s success,” Clarke said.

Working with the new players, the team managed to hold Palo Alto to a 0-0 draw on Jan. 28 after previously losing to them 4-1 earlier in the season on Jan. 5. Prior to that game, the Falcons had lost 2-1 in a tough battle with Mountain View on Jan. 21 and were shut out 3-0 at Los Altos on Jan. 19.

A pivotal win of the season came on Jan. 14, in a 2-1 win against Los Gatos. Junior forwards Rajiv Ramakabir and Troy Doles, the team’s top scorer, had two second-half goals to turn the game around after being down by one goal.

“Even though we knew Los Gatos wasn’t going to be the team they were a few seasons ago, it was still an exciting win,” Clarke said. “Our team appreciated the number of fans at the game.”

Fans of Falcon boys’ soccer can expect to see the team grab a spot in CCS with wins over Santa Clara and Los Gatos on Feb. 7 and Feb. 4 respectively. The scores of these games could not be reported due to printing deadlines.