Boys’ soccer struggles to adapt after rough start to season

February 3, 2024 — by Mitchell Chen and Christina Labban
Photo by Bryan Zhao
Senior Diego Rocabado playing against Cupertino at an away game on Jan. 24.
The team plans on improving their ball keeping drills and execution of plays as they begin to play rematches against teams.

With the season well underway, the boys’ soccer team has lost any chances of advancing to CCS this year: As of Jan. 25, they were ranked sixth out of eight in the league with a 1-4 record. Even winning all six more games would not be enough.

The team lost 3-1 to Los Gatos on Jan. 19, 2-1 to Milpitus on Jan. 17 and 3-0 to Monta Vista on Jan. 13.  Their only win was their first game vs. Lynbrook 6-0 on Jan. 10.  

The team, under the guidance of coach Connor McGoldrick, is working on refining their execution on offense.

Senior striker and captain Yul Hong, slated to play soccer at the Naval Academy next year, is still working hard to help younger players develop skills such as ball-keeping and passing behind the opponents’ back line. 

The Falcons were disadvantaged in preseason due to difficulty with finding a new coach; as such, the team is still getting used to playing with each other. 

“We should have had a few preseason scrimmages to get everyone warmed up and ready for an upcoming season,” sophomore goalie Orion Tamas King said. “However, due to miscommunication with other schools, we were only able to scrimmage amongst ourselves before heading into this season.”

Hong believes the underclassmen will adapt to the faster paces on the varsity level as they get more experience with each game. 

“I’m not surprised we haven’t been able to play to our full potential as we’ve had less time to prepare for the season compared to other teams,” Hong said. “However, I feel like the team has pretty good chemistry and the underclassmen have been doing well.”  

Notable standouts include sophomore forward Matez Casanova and Tamas King, who have been able to adapt well to playing on the varsity team. Both have made key plays during games, including a save against Los Gatos early in the game.

“The upperclassmen communicate well with the underclassmen and give us tips to help us improve,” King said. “I have hope for the rest of the season because our team is starting to get used to playing with each other and build better chemistry.” 

Both Hong and King still have high hopes for the rest of the season especially with the strong level of talent on the team. Sophomore Matez Casanova and junior Langdon Hunyh previously practiced at Palo Alto Soccer Club and Major League Soccer (MLS), respectively. Both are highly competitive clubs, and the two brought their talent onto the school team.  

“We need more communication if we want to achieve our goal of a winning season this year — something I know we can do,” Hong said. 

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