The ball soars through the air, cutting a deft arc into the net for the ninth time, unanswered. Not long after, the referee blows the whistle for the final time of the match, and the Palo Alto High School boys soccer team walks triumphantly off the field after a 9-0 victory against Milpitas High School on Nov. 29.
The boys started off on a fantastic note with their first game of the season. Goals from seniors Neil Verwillow and Jack Stoksik and sophomores Marco Tan and Jason Shorin helped the Vikings achieve a 9-0 victory in a dominating performance at home against the Milpitas Trojans.
Additionally, junior Kiran Misner and sophomore Patrick McIntosh had superb performances as goalkeepers.
The change in the formation implemented prior to the season could be a reason for the early success experienced by the team. Last season, the Vikings played with a 4-4-2 formation, but this year they are playing primarily in a 3-4-3.
The new formation gives them an extra offensive push, and the four primary defenders are utilized to give the team more versatility. Despite the Paly team only having played two games, the team has great chemistry, and that is sure to help them out early on.
“I think we have a lot of chemistry on the team,” Verwillow said, “I know a lot of the guys play club together myself included, so it’s not like we are starting from scratch or it’s the first time that any of us have played together.”
The second preseason game of the season was played at home against Carlmont High School on Nov. 30. The Vikes took home another victory, winning 2-1 with both goals scored by sophomore Kenzo Morabi.
With its undefeated record after two games, the team headed into a preseason tournament. The first game was played against Lincoln High School on Saturday.
The team’s win streak was extended to three with a 1-0 win. The lone goal of the game came from senior Michel-Ange Siaba. Misner prevented any goals from being scored throughout the entire game.
“I think we have a lot of chemistry on the team. I know a lot of the guys play club together myself included, so it’s not like we are starting from scratch or that it’s the first time that any of us have played together.’’
With this excellent start to the season the Vikings are hopeful for a successful 2016-2017 campaign, with their sights set towards the Central Coast Sectionals (CCS).
“I think the biggest thing this year is going to be pushing ourselves to consistently get better during practices,” Verwillow said. “Last year it was easy slack off, but this year I hope me and the captains are going to be able to push the rest of the team to keep getting better.”
Be sure to head out and support the soccer team in their upcoming games. The season is set to officially start after winter break. On Jan. 5, the Vikings will be away versus Los Altos High School in the first game of the season.