San Benito defeats boys’ soccer team in preseason showdown

Ryan Wisowaty, Editor-in-Chief

Senior Jason Shorin breaks away from defenders during Thursday’s 2-1 loss at Palo Alto High School to the San Benito Haybalers. “Throughout the whole game we just had a lot of good shots and just couldn’t score,” senior Isaiah Schoenberger said.

The match was a test of a new team: with the Palo Alto High School Vikings defeated 2-1 by the San Benito Haybalers at a home game Thursday evening, the team saw where their strengths and where their weaknesses lie.

The preseason, out-of-league showdown between the Vikings and the Haybalers was an opportunity to see how the new and returning Paly talent would add to the team ahead of the regular season.

Despite the Haybalers scoring the first goal, the Vikings tied up the scoreboard after senior Jason Shorin broke away from Haybaler defense and sank a low corner kick. Celebrations were cut short when the Haybalers quickly retaliated with a goal and revived their one-goal lead.

From the beginning, Thursday’s game was a physical match-up. Before halftime, seniors Jason Shorin and Isaiah Schoenberger left the field limping — leaving Paly with two of its starting players on injured reserve through the second half. But that did not hold the team back, according to Schoenberger.

“Everyone has their own part in the game, and I think that even if I got injured, we still have great players on the bench that can come in and work just as hard as I do,” Schoenberger said. “It’s not much of a setback when we have injuries because everyone is pretty equal.”

With the Vikings down by one goal at halftime, the name of the game became creating good opportunities on offense.

“We thought that a long ball over the top would really help, but throughout the game we realized we had to play through the other team and play on the ground,” Schoenberger said.

The Vikings attempted a counterattack in the second half, working to place the ball in front of the goal. However, strong goaltending and defense on both sides did not permit any new goals for either team.

For varsity head coach Don Briggs, Thursday’s game was a testing ground — a hunt to find what will lead this team to hit its stride.

“It’s preseason, that’s kind of what you are doing is trying to figure out what positions help us the most and where the players can be,” Briggs said.

The Vikings will take on North Monterey County on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in a non-league matchup.