The girls soccer team finished League play with a firm 16-1-1 record, placing the team second in Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) behind first place, Mountain View High School.
Unfortunately, the record also placed the team as a shocking seventh seed in the Central Coast Section (CCS) open division bracket. Palo Alto High School has the second best record in the bracket and tied first seeded Mountain View High School earlier this season. Mountain View also tied Saratoga High School, a team Paly defeated twice.
As seventh seed, Paly will have to face second seeded Archbishop Mitty High School on Feb. 27 at 1:00 p.m. The two teams have yet to meet this season, leaving the likely winner of the matchup up in the air. Although Paly is the lower seed, the Vikings have a better record than Mitty and stand a decent chance in advancing to the semifinal round of CCS.
Last season, Paly lost to Mountain View in the CCS Division 1 bracket. The team hopes the end result will be different this year.
“We’re definitely looking to win, that’s for sure,” senior captain Heidi Moeser said. “This CCS round is going to be a lot harder because we’re in the open division and so were playing a lot of harder teams. I’m confident that we’ll be able to pull through and win.”
Paly gained a lot of confidence after storming through SCVAL this season. The team’s recent blowouts have been particularly motivating.
The team defeated Sacred Heart Prep High School 5-1, Milpitas High School 6-0 and Homestead High School 5-0. Opposing teams have found it difficult to score against Paly’s strong defense all season.
In 17 games of play this season, only five goals have been let in the whole season. Defense plays a major part in the team’s success and has allowed the team to win many games by small margins. Despite struggling offensively in games against league opponents Los Gatos High School and Saratoga, a reliable defense helped Paly beat both teams by a score of 1-0.
“Our defense is very strong this year and is an integral part of our team,” Moeser said. “They really back us up and it’s really beneficial to our team.”
Paly’s nearly impenetrable defense eases pressure on the offensive players. Scoring just one goal can wind up winning the entire match for the team.
“Our outside defenders make a lot of runs up [towards the opponent’s goal] which is really helpful, because then we [attackers] can get a lot of crosses in, Moeser said.