As their regular season comes to a close, the girls varsity soccer team is looking toward the postseason in the Central Coast Section playoffs. The team has an overall record of 6-6-7, but is taking steps forward, head coach Armando Luna said.
Paly is coming off a 3-0 win against Santa Clara with sophomores Kat Thomsen, Mariana Kessinger and Cassie Taleno-Dee each scoring goals. The team snapped a streak of three games where the team was shut out by their opponents.
“It was a good result, and one of the first times in a while the scoreboard reflected what we did on the field,” Luna said.
Luna said he is impressed by the team’s close bond as well and how they are always supportive of one another.
“We’re like a second family,” captain and sophomore Brighid Baker said. “I’m always excited to see them.”
Many Thursdays, the team has a pasta feed, a team dinner potluck where players bring pasta as well as salads, desserts and drinks. It’s an opportunity for the team to hang out and get to know each other, Baker said.
“We have pasta feed and we hang out; we’re like one big group of friends,” varsity captain Kaitlin Meyer said.
While the team has a good culture off the field, many players have missed time on the field due to injuries and sickness. Luna believes the team is only now reaching its full potential as more and more players are available to play.
“We’re finally healthy,” Luna said, “A lot of people have been out, and that’s really hurt us.”
Still, Luna understands that they need to take another step forward to face their CCS competition.
“We’re creating chances but we’re still not always consistently finishing in our games,” Luna said.
Hillsdale, which has a record of 14-3-3, was a challenging match for Paly. However, this did not intimidate Baker.
“The record doesn’t matter,” Baker said. “We need to go out there and play as a team for the last four games.”
Meyer, in her final season on Paly soccer, is already looking toward the future.
“I’m just glad we got to CCS,” Meyer said. “And I’m hopeful for the future of this team because I think we have a lot of talent.”