Girls’ soccer: Falcons hope to revise techniques to improve

February 2, 2017 — by Pranav Ahuja and Neehar Thumaty

Following an undefeated run in preseason, the girls have struggled in their regular season, losing 4-0 at home to a strong Palo Alto team on Jan. 26 for their sixth straight loss.

Playing against rival Los Gatos in an away game on Jan. 24, the team suffered a 4-1 defeat.

“Los Gatos had the edge in terms of the drive to finally get a win against us,” junior center midfielder and captain Chloe McGhee said. “Our defensive pursuit was very strong, but we were just not able to create as much opportunity on offense and that is something we really have to work on.”

The girls also lost 2-1 to Santa Clara on Jan. 19 in a tight match, scoring first and then conceding two goals, including a controversial penalty in the second half. In an away game on Jan. 17, the girls fell 2-0 to Homestead; against last year’s league champions Mountain View on Jan. 12, the Falcons lost 5-0.

Earlier, on Jan. 5, Palo Alto defeated the girls 3-0. They won their first league game 2-0 against Fremont on Jan. 3, with a brace by junior right midfielder Allison Borch.

Sophomore center back Sasha Pickard attributes the string of losses to changes in the starting lineup, after losing six key players to graduation.

“It’s all a really new team, so it will take time to learn each other's style of play and how to work with one another to create success,” Pickard said. “We’ve done a lot of team dinners and bonding exercises so that we get along.”

Additionally, the recent rains and injuries have raised obstacles for the team because they had to skip a lot of practices. The team also lost senior midfielder Tina Miller for the rest of the season due to an iron deficiency.

“It was definitely a shock to lose such a crucial player, but even off the field, she is extremely motivational to [other players],” McGhee said. “She was great at facilitating and connecting passes, so our forwards are working to become more tightknit and fill the gap she left.”

McGhee believes that the five freshmen on the team have performed well, but that the overall team could improve by focusing more on its offense.

“The freshmen really showed their skills, especially on defense, even though they were going against much bigger girls. So I think there is a lot of potential,” McGhee said. “But honestly, we need to focus on our offensive attacks and working around the opposing defense. We’ve had really low scoring games so far.”

The team still hopes to make CCS by beating Homestead and Fremont in upcoming games, and both McGhee and Pickard believe there is still a chance to salvage the season if the team continues to work hard during practices.

If we keep working on possession drills we should be able to develop a much more fluid system,” Pickard said.