The boys soccer team huddles on the field after its 2-1 victory against Gunn High School on Feb. 16. Photo by Emily Yao

Boys soccer ends strong overall season with Wilcox loss

Despite a season where the team placed third in the SCVAL De Anza League, the boys varsity soccer team closed out its season with a 2-0 loss to Wilcox.

Captain and senior Jaron Majors said the team earned its third place finish through ending games strong, particularly in a 2-1 victory against Gunn during Senior Night after having tied Gunn 0-0 earlier in the season.

“It was pretty amazing,” Majors said. “Winning during senior night with the last-minute goal off a corner kick will always be the most memorable moment of the season for me.”

Coach Rusty Millard, though, said he thinks the win over Gunn is a reason for the season ending too soon.

“(Our loss against) Wilcox in the playoffs was a tough one for us,” Millard said. “We had just beaten our cross-town rival on Senior Night three nights prior, so we were coming off such a high. To try and rally the group after that was as difficult as it could’ve been. We shouldn’t have been overconfident.”

While the game and season did not end in the team’s favor, Millard said there were moments in the season-ending loss to Wilcox worth celebrating.

“We stayed true to who we are as a team by playing collectively, keeping the ball on the ground, playing quick and linking up with each other to make combinations,” Millard said. “The boys did just that, and we competed to the very last second which, for me, is a major positive from the game because we were refusing to give in.”

And Majors said the team always supported each other through the highs and lows.

“We knew each other pretty well, and we had a lot of fun playing together,” Majors said. “The team was close-knit and everyone enjoyed each other’s presence.”

Millard said he guarantees the team will continue to succeed, especially considering his returning lineup.

“We have an amazing team coming back next year — the junior class is very talented which is super exciting,” Millard said. “The doubt that other teams might’ve had about Palo Alto is no longer. They should know they have to bring their best against us because we’re ready, and we’re up for the challenge. Paly soccer is back.”