Boys’ soccer finds early league success

January 21, 2022 — by Annie Liu, Nikhil Mathihalli and Tiffany Wang
Photo by Sanjoli Gupta
The boys’ varsity soccer team huddles up to end their practice.
The Falcons are hopeful for the upcoming season due to the addition of many strong underclassmen joining the team.

The boys’ soccer team began its league season with a 3-1 record after a 2-1 loss to Lynbrook on Jan. 18, a 5-2 win against Monta Vista on Jan. 13, a 5-1 win against Cupertino on Jan. 6 and a 2-1 victory to Fremont on Jan. 4.

With 10 returning varsity players on the 14-member team, the Falcons attribute their early success to strong team chemistry developed over past seasons. These team bonds have been additionally strengthened through the preseason games and practices, junior attacking midfielder Nathan Lim said.

Lim also said head coach Max Dorling has given athletes humorous nicknames like “Dr. Shakes” for senior center back Sahil Shaik, which have helped build team morale and contributed to a more comfortable team environment. 

Additionally, veteran players feel confident about the new JV team and other new members, Lim said. According to Lim, many JV athletes are fast, have a clear idea of what to do and are quick learners, though the coaching staff decided to place many athletes with varsity potential on the JV team due to a lack of experience. Even so, five new athletes — senior Sahil Shaik, junior Taylor Wilson and sophomores Mohit Gandluru, Yul Hong and Jeremy Krainin — fill the absences left by Class of 2021 graduates, including winger Nolan Chen and center back Kyle Massie. 

A normal practice, which typically spans for around two hours, consists of warm-up stretches, relay races and some keep-away games which are followed up with shooting and defense practices.

The team recently played a game against Monta Vista, one of the best teams in the league, which was their “first real test of where we lie,” according to senior captain and center back Aidan Costello. The Falcons’ 5-2 victory gave them high hopes for the rest of the season.

Prior to the game against Monta Vista, the team played Fremont, and though they won against Fremont early in the season, they were unsatisfied with their performance: The team scored two goals in the first 10 minutes but not again. 

“We just didn’t really find ourselves after that, so they scored another goal. We didn’t think we played very well at all and most people were really upset with that win,” Costello said.

The Falcons were scheduled to play Fremont and Cupertino on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, and the team hopes to secure another win against Milpitas on Feb. 1.

“I think we have a really good team this year,” Costello said. “I hope we will continue our success this season and make it to CCS.”

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