Boys’ Soccer: Inspired offense will be crucial to team’s success

December 14, 2010 — by Rohan Rajeev

After securing first place in the El Camino Division last year, the boys’ soccer team went on to the CCS quarterfinals, only to lose by an astonishing five-goal margin to Sacred Heart.

Having played four games out of the eight in the preseason, the team looks to have retained its usual offensive potency, even after losing graduating senior offensive players Dale Everett and Sean Ashe, who aided the team to 49 goals last year. Juniors Troy Doles and Javier Llera, an exchange student from Spain, lead the team’s offense.

The first game with Wilcox Nov. 30 ended in a scoreless draw and exemplified Saratoga’s defense at its best. Returning after earning League Defensive MVP, junior defender Manish Raghavan leads the defense.

Junior midfielder Jonathan Junqua is impressed with the team’s potential for offense.

“This year, we will not only have our classic strong defensive line, but also have a creative, talented offense,” Junqua said.

The Falcons were, however not able to score against a tough Leigh team, losing 2-0 on Dec. 3. The result, coach Adam Clarke said, was like a form of constructive criticism.

“I like to experiment with formations that work and formations that don’t work,” he said. “It’s a really great way to figure out how we’re going to play during the season.”

Clarke is pleased with the higher amount of offensive talent this season.

“[Juniors] Rajiv Ramakabir and Jonathan Junqua are my most versatile players,” Clarke said. “They are both playing really well, and they will have a huge part to play in the upcoming season.”

Clarke’s goal for the team is to stay in the top division for next year.

“We’re a versatile team, and have outstanding players on every corner of the field,” he said. “This league might be the toughest, but we have what it takes to make it to the playoffs, which requires us to come in third place.”

Junior defender Stan Ho also feels confident in the team’s offense.

“Most of the players are returning from last year, but our new additions will work just as cohesively,” Ho said. “Our team is more well rounded this year, and our coach makes sure we have good practice for the upcoming season, playing skillful teams such as Harbor and Fremont.”

The offense picked up during their game against Harbor Dec. 7. Junior Doles netted two goals to help the team to a tie. Following that game, the Falcons won 2-0 Dec. 9 vs. Fremont, with Ramakabir scoring one of the goals. The Falcons have five more preseason games before league season begins.

“We’re going to do really well this year,” Clarke said.

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