Struggling to score, rebuilding boys’ soccer team piling up losses

January 30, 2019 — by Andrew Li and Alan Zu

After moving up to the competitive De Anza League, the boys’ soccer team has struggled to score in a season where a lack of experience combined with being in a tougher division have made it virtually impossible to win.

As of Jan. 28, the boys have not scored since an 11-3 loss against Santa Teresa on Dec. 14.

The team lost 3-0 to Santa Clara on Jan. 25, lost 5-0 to Mountain View on Jan. 18, lost 3-0 to Homestead on Jan. 14 and lost 3-0 to Los Altos on Jan. 11.

There have been occasional bright spots. During a game vs. Los Gatos on Jan. 2, senior center back AJ Lee made a mistake and left an opponent wide open, allowing the player to shoot the ball. Sophomore goalkeeper KJ Jasti, with good reflexes, extended his body “like a slinky toy,” Lee said, and blocked the shot, maintaining the score of 5-0 in favor of Los Gatos. The team celebrated the great defensive play.

Even so, the final score was 7-0, marking their seventh loss of the season.

Though more than halfway done with their season, the Falcons are still struggling to come away with a single win, with a disappointing record of 0-12 overall and a league record of 0-6. For eight out of the 12 games played so far, the team has been shut out as of Jan. 28.

The main reason for the team’s struggles is the loss of 18 seniors to graduation last spring, senior striker and captain Owen Keogh said.

“We had seniors who were used to what we do, and our style of play is to play hard,” Keogh said. “We work really hard, but because we’re not as skilled, we grind out games.”

However, the team still sees a possibility in doing better the rest of the season. Keogh said that toward the end of the pre-season and now during the regular season, “we’re not getting destroyed” as much as in previous games.

To improve, the team has been working on their fitness more than usual and trying to build competitiveness through scrimmages, Lee said. But despite the team’s perseverance, they are still struggling to cover for their lack of experience.

“We’re putting up a fight, but our lack of execution and lack of experience doesn’t help us,” Keogh said.

Even with the unsuccessful season so far, Lee said that the players should still keep their heads high.

“It is important that we should stay positive throughout the season,” Lee said. “Morale has improved throughout the season, so we should finish strong.”

The Falcons will play Homestead on Feb. 1, Palo Alto on Feb. 4 and 6, Mountain View on Feb. 8 and to close the season out, Los Gatos on Feb. 13.

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