Girls’ soccer team has tough preseason to prepare for league

December 10, 2009 — by Olivia Chock and Ren Norris

Preseason is usually a time for teams to gear up for regular league season by starting off against less competitive opponents. However, the girls’ soccer team this preseason faced daunting teams from the upper division right off the bat.

Early games against strong lineups from Presentation, Los Gatos and Los Altos in the preseason are serving as a way to prepare the girls for playing weaker teams in the lower El Camino Division season that begins Jan. 7.

“Playing tougher teams will get all the girls who don’t play competitive soccer year-round to get more acclimated to the speed of game we’re going to have to play in the season,” said senior co-captain Sarah Guy.

The team’s chief goal is to win the El Camino Division, which would snag them a spot in CCS. Head coach Kim Anzalone believes that playing the higher league teams is a good test because she anticipates competing against these teams again if the Falcons do earn a CCS bid.

“Playing against these tougher teams in preseason will make our regular season seem like a cake walk,” said Anzalone. “It helps us to play at a higher level and get physical with these teams which helps us improve before regular season.”

Not surprisingly, the team’s first few preseason games were anything but a cakewalk, as the Falcons lost a well-fought game against powerhouse Los Gatos 4-0 on Dec. 8 after suffering a 1-0 loss to Westmont on Dec. 7.

The team also struggled in the Dec.1 and 3 Palo Alto tournament games against upper-division teams Los Altos and Santa Teresa. They lost 2-0 against Los Altos, and 2-1 against Santa Teresa, with the lone goal scored by junior forward McKenzi Crase off a corner kick by Guy.

“This game was an overall disappointment. At the beginning [of the game against Santa Teresa], we were up 1-0 but it seems like we gave up at the end,” said assistant coach Brandon Chow. “We should have kept the pressure on them. We had a lot of opportunities, we just need to capitalize on them.”

The team lost 5-0 to one of the toughest teams in the league, Presentation, during the preseason Palo Alto tournament on Nov. 30.

“Even though the score was 5-0, there were a number of bad calls and the score didn’t reflect how well we played; we really came out strong, especially in the first half,” said Anzalone.

The girls are happy to take their lumps in preseason if it pays off later on.

“Our past couple of games have been learning experiences for us, since we’re getting used to how everyone plays and trying out people in new positions,” said senior co-captain Jordan Leonard. “Now we’re starting to solidify each person in what position they’re best at.”

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