Girls’ soccer falls short against Mountain View

Benjamin Grimes and Arthur Wu

In a disappointing defeat, the Palo Alto High School Varsity girls’ soccer team (3-4-2) fell to the league-leading Mountain View Spartans (10-0), 0-3 Friday at home. 

According to head coach Jesse Berta, the Vikings knew that it wouldn’t be an easy game coming in against the undefeated Spartans.

“We were expecting a hard game,” Berta said. “We were expecting to at least tie since they [Mountain View] haven’t lost yet.”

According to senior captain Olivia Milne, the tough competition only served as motivation for the Vikings.

“It was a nothing-to-lose situation, which honestly made us come out harder,” Milne said. “When we expect to win, sometimes we go out softer. We came out strong, just giving it all we got, and this game was better than the last two times we played them by a longshot.” 

Mountain View started off strong, with an early goal attempt that was blocked by junior goalkeeper Mars Bau. With 10 minutes left in the half, senior midfielder Katherine Thomsen broke through and took a shot that was narrowly blocked by Spartan senior goalkeeper Sophie Sasaki. 

Berta said the Vikings excelled on offense in the first half. 

“We stayed calm on the ball,” Berta said. “We were organized, and we cut off a few passes in the middle and we were able to get the ball forward on attack a lot more than the last time we played them.” 

The Spartans continued to pressure the Vikings in the first half, attempting four goal shots. However, they were all blocked by Bau. 

With two minutes left in the first half, Spartan sophomore forward Karena Shah took advantage of a cross and delivered a kick that sent the ball into the back of the net, ending the half with the Vikings down, 0-1. 

At the start of the second half, both teams came out strong, with several goal attempts from both teams. However, neither team was able to gain an edge over the other. 

Despite being down a goal, the Vikings continued to fight for the lead. 

“Our intensity was there,” Milne said. “Sometimes we lack that when they [opposing teams] score and we get down on ourselves. But we kept pushing and I think that’s something new that we did well today.” 

With 26 minutes left in the half, Spartan senior forward Allie Montoya sent a powerful kick into the bottom right corner of the net, putting the Vikings down 0-2. 

From there, the Spartans continued to attempt shots on the goal, and with 14 minutes left in the half, the team delivered a third goal, bringing the score to o-3. The Vikings played hard for the remaining time, but were unable to break through the Spartan’s defense. 

Despite the loss, Milne said that the match demonstrated the Vikings’ improvement over the course of the season. 

“I’m actually super proud of the way we played, whatever the score was,” Milne said. “This was so much better [than last time] and we had a bunch of chances.” 

The Vikings will have to win their final three games in order to make the CCS playoffs, according to Bau. 

“We might as well give it everything we got,” Milne said. “Whether or not we make it to the finals, I really want to have fun.” 

The Vikings will play again against Santa Clara at 7 p.m Wednesday away from home.