The Palo Alto High School girls soccer team has been in excellent form recently, winning seven of its last 12 games and losing just one of those 12 games, with four ties. Senior captain Sunny Lyu is pleased with the way the team’s performance.
“The season’s going well,” Lyu said. “Lately, we’ve been performing well.”
The team got off to a slow start, losing its first two preseason games. Since then, the team has lost just one game. According to Lyu, this turnaround is the result of hard work, improved finishing and team chemistry.
“We practiced harder and with a purpose,” Lyu said. “Also, we’ve capitalized on what we could and we’ve gotten to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, we know [senior defender] Julia Kwasnick is good at finishing off corners, so we aim for her. We know that [junior forward] Katherine Shan is fast, so we try to play her through rather than short. Team chemistry definitely factors onto the field.”
Sophomore defender and midfielder Jacey Pederson believes that the team’s poor performances early in the season were the result of such a young team, but that this is no longer a problem.
“The underclassmen that were new to the team figured out what their roles are,” Pederson said. “That definitely has impacted our team and how we’re playing. Also, we have just practiced more and spent more time with each other, so we are naturally going to improve.”
Now that the team has figured out the issues that hindered it early on, Pederson believes it is the best in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) De Anza division.
“I definitely believe we’re the best team in the league,” Pederson said. “Now it’s just a matter of proving that we are the best.”
According to Lyu, the team has a good chance of winning its league.
“Our chances [of winning league] are pretty good, but it’ll be tough,” Lyu said. “The top few teams are all within a couple points of each other, so the title is really up for grabs.”
Central Coast Sectional playoffs (CCS) begin soon and the players on the girls soccer team believe they can do well.
“We have a good shot at CCS,” Lyu said. “There are a lot of good teams in the Central Coast, but when we are playing to our full capability, we can be the best. We just have to be consistent.”
The team hopes to continue its torrid run of form throughout the end of the season. The team is also confident about its future and believes that it will only improve.
“We definitely can keep improving,” Pederson said. “We’re just getting started. I don’t think we have really reached our potential yet, so our opponents should be terrified that we’re doing so well even though we aren’t even playing to our full potential.”