The last hurrah: Senior girls end soccer season on good foot

Ria Pai and

The Palo Alto High School girls’ soccer team huddles together during halftime at Paly on Wednesday. The girls claimed a victory, 2-0, on senior night where the senior team members were celebrated for their leadership and commitment to the team. “You know when you have a tough season and you have a good leadership like this one, it’s always fine,” head coach Ernesto Cruz said. “I guess no matter if you win or lose they keep the team together.” Photo: Margaret Li

The Palo Alto High School girls’ soccer team (3-10-6) triumphed 2-0 over the Fremont Firebirds (5-12-3) Wednesday on senior night.

This was the last Paly game for the seniors on the team.

“We were looking to play well, play hard and end with a win,” senior Khadija Abid said.

During the first half of the game, the Vikings took the lead early on as Abid scored a goal against the Firebirds with a strong, lofting kick at a good distance away from the goal. With lots of back-and-forth movement and great passes from sophomore Sarah Kim, Paly managed to keep the Firebirds away from the Viking goal. Despite an aggressive defense and a couple of close opportunities for a goal by the Firebirds, they were no match for senior goalie Kaitlin Hanay, who blocked several of their attempts, leaving Paly up 1-0 at the end of the first half.

The second half was even stronger for the Vikings, with Paly closing in on Fremont’s goal on multiple attempts. There were some impressive kicks by junior forward-midfielder Summer Daniel and junior forward Frida Rivera. Toward the end of the half, the second goal came when senior midfielder Caroline Furrier hit a hard shot, with Rivera following the ball to finish the job. Shouts from the team and the fans on the sideline rang out as the ball found the back of the net.

Paly midfielder Caroline Furrier dribbles the ball toward Fremont’s goal during the second half of the game. The Vikings beat the Firebirds, 2-0, ending their season on a victory. “I think that as a team we just really wanted to end the season on a high note,” senior co-captain Khadija Abid said. Photo: Margaret Li

Even though the girls did not have many wins this season, the season had other positives.

“We had a rough time in terms of results,” Abid said. “But it was an incredible group of girls, and we had a lot of fun together.”

Although this was the team’s last game because they did not qualify for CCS, the players look back on the season with positive memories, according to junior Samantha Pao. 

“The girls deserve a win like that,” head coach Ernesto Cruz said. “We’ve been waiting for, they’ve been fighting for it all season. It’s almost unfair the results that we’ve been getting, but we finally got one on a special night too.”