Boys’ soccer climbs ranks in hope of league championship

February 2, 2010 — by Aanchal Mohan and Roy Bisht

One new coach ready to bring home a victory? Check.

Two sophomore captains ready to lead their team to the top? Check.

Twenty-two skilled soccer players ready to play their hardest to become league champions? Check.

The boys’ soccer team is now in second place out of eight teams in the El Camino League as of Jan. 25. They credit this newfound success to good chemistry.

“We all play really well together,” said senior goalie Kevin Benzing. “Even though we all come from different teams and different grades, we manage to put that aside on the field.”

Players also credit new head coach Adam Clarke for their victories.

“[Clarke] is a really fun coach and puts a lot of trust in us,” said senior right defender Sawan Shah. “He teaches and coaches us, but at the same time he treats us like adults and lets us make our own decisions.”

Clarke’s coaching strategy seems to be working for the team as they have already beaten last year’s win total with three wins so far: against Palo Alto on Jan. 5 (2-1), Wilcox on Jan. 7 (2-1) and Lynbrook on Jan. 14 (4-0). As the season continues, Clarke is still trying to find the line-up and formations that work best.

“We’ve been changing up our positions on the field a lot trying to find one that actually works with out team,” said sophomore defender and co-captain Manish Raghavan. “[Clarke] completely changed our formation before the Lynbrook game, which led to a 4-0 win.”

Of course, the success of the team cannot solely be credited to the coach. Though the team is underclassman-dominated, the lack of seniority is made up in the skill level of the young players. As they continue on with their season, the players admit that they need to work on not judging their opponents too quickly.

“We need to work on not counting teams out,” said sophomore defender and co-captain Jonathan Junqua. “We lose stupid games because of it.”

A key example of this was the game against Cupertino on Jan. 12. While the Falcons could have won, they ended up losing 2-1. The Falcons hope to redeem that loss when they play Cupertino again at home on Feb 2. (Due to printing deadlines these results could not be published in this issue.)

The Falcons will continue their season with a home games against Lynbrook and Santa Clara on Feb. 9 and 11, respectively. These next games will be crucial for the team as every win from now on will potentially help the team qualify for CCS.