Boys’ soccer falls to Bellarmine in season-ending loss

    Junior goalkeeper Eli Friedlander dives to stop a Los Gatos High School attempt at a shot. The ball bounces off the post. The Vikings defeated Los Gatos, 2-1, securing first place in the De Anza League.Photo by Amy Leung.

    Junior goalkeeper Eli Friedlander dives to stop a Los Gatos High School attempt at a shot. The ball bounced off the post. The Vikings defeated Los Gatos, 2-1, on Feb. 17, securing first place in the De Anza League. Photo by Amy Leung.

    The Palo Alto High School boys’ soccer team (13-4-3, 8-2-1) lost to Bellarmine College Preparatory (11-4-4, 8-2-3), 2-0, in the Central Coast Section quarterfinals yesterday, bringing its season to a close.

    Senior captain and defender Steven Blatman explained the reason for the loss.

    “We started out strong today [yesterday] but lost some organization as the first half progressed, which ultimately led to the two goals [scored by Bellarmine],” Blatman said. “In the second half, we played well, and overall I’m proud of our performance.”

    Despite yesterday’s loss, the Vikings did well in the De Anza league, finishing first place in the league after finishing last four years ago.

    “I feel that we really improved over the years, both in quality of players and general cohesiveness,” Blatman said. “This is definitely the best varsity squad I’ve played with during my four years.”

    Senior captain and defender Preston Kuppe accredits the success of the season to the chemistry of the team.

    “Our success this season was because we played as a team, both defensively and offensively,” Kuppe said. “We were all on the same page during the game, working toward a common goal.”

    Junior midfielder Cole Tierney agrees, specifying helpful plays and players.

    “A lot of our success came from through balls and crosses from the outside,” Tierney said. “But I think our defense is what kept us in for so long, so I would attribute our success to the back four and [junior goalkeeper] Eli [Friedlander].”

    With five graduating seniors this year, Tierney holds high hopes for next season.

    “We have 11 seniors next year, which is enough for a whole team,” Tierney said. “Next year, our team will be stronger and have better chemistry than [in] past years.”

    Tierney said being with the rest of the team was the best part of the season.

    “We had a lot of fun and yelled at each other a lot,” Tierney said. “But at the end of the day, we all looked out for each other.”

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