Season Preview: Boys’ soccer team aims to place top three in league

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Malia Wanderer, Sports Editor

Last year’s senior captain, Eric Aboytes dribbles the ball down the field against San Benito High School on Dec. 6, 2018. This season the team has a smaller number of returning varsity players, according to varsity coach Donald Briggs, leaving them with many younger players who will be challenged with catching up to their older counterparts. “We have a lot of younger players and many players with little varsity experience,” Briggs stated in an email. “So getting those young players up to speed with other varsity players is always a challenge.” Photo: David Hickey

Kicking off its season, the Palo Alto High School boys’ varsity soccer team is optimistic despite being made up of more freshmen and sophomores than in past years, and is hoping to place at the top of the De Anza Division.

Head Coach Donald Briggs said that he hopes to see the team improve over the season and become a threat to other top teams. 

“The main goals are to come together as a team, play our best, and try to improve with each coming game,” Briggs stated in an email. “I would like to be competitive in every game we play. I think that’s a possibility, but we are going to have to work hard.”

Last year, the team went 5-2-5 in league and 10-4-7 overall, making it into the open division of Central Coast Section where it was then eliminated in the first round after losing to Bellarmine. 

This year, according to senior goalkeeper Jackson Druker, the team has players who are strong on and off the ball, and has the potential to have another strong season. 

“As we gain some chemistry, we’ll be able to be dominant in the league because we have a lot of quick players who are good on the ball and are able to move it quickly,” Druker said. 

Junior Enzo DeMarinis is also optimistic about how the team looks this year, reiterating Druker’s claim that the team is comprised of talented players. 

“I think the team itself player-wise looks really good,” DeMarinis said. “We have really skilled players who play well together.”

According to Briggs, the team lost many key players last year and is composed of many young athletes with no varsity experience, so the teams’ success is dependent on what they can accomplish. 

“[Our success this season] really depends on how the younger players develop and how we improve as the season moves on,” Briggs stated.

The Vikings have already played in two pre-season games, the first was against Sequoia High School where they lost 2-1 and the second against Carlmont High School where they tied 2-2.

The Vikings will play next away against Menlo-Atherton 3:30 p.m. Monday.