Boys’ lacrosse topples Los Altos

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Viking senior attacker Blake Chase sprints past a check by an Eagles defender during their 9-3 victory over the Los Altos on Wednesday. According to Head Coach Daniel Shelton, Paly’s loss to Los Altos earlier in the season did not affect the team’s mindset. “It was more of a challenge to play back to back games,” Shelton said. “We played last night and it was a really tough game, so coming on tonight was just kind of an endurance test more than anything.” (Photo: Jonathan Chen)

Avi Srinivasan, Jason Lin, and Arthur Wu

In a must-win game, the Palo Alto varsity boys’ lacrosse team (5-3) crushed the Los Altos Eagles (3-5), 9-3, Tuesday evening at home. 

Having suffered a defeat earlier in the season against Los Altos, the Vikings came into the game looking to enact revenge and also improve their position in the DeAnza league, according to senior goalkeeper Mihir Gupta.  

It was a must-win game because we were tied for the third seed and they had the tiebreaker coming into the game,” Gupta said. “We need to win by more than they beat us last time, so I came into the game with the mentality that I just got to be at the best at the top of my game can’t let anything in.” 

In the first quarter, the Vikings started off strong by quickly putting pressure on Los Alto’s defense with aggressive drives to the net and fast ball movement. In the middle of the quarter, senior attacker Evan Wong scored a sharp shot after a powerful sprint to the Eagles’ goal. From there the Vikings continued to capitalize on attack, limiting Los Altos to its half for the majority of the quarter, which ended 3-1. 

According to Wong, although the team did well scoring goals, he believes that they still needs to work on their synergy, especially on offense.

“An area we can improve is our offensive timing,” Wong said. “We have great individual offensive players, but sometimes we don’t time it together correctly like we should.”

The second quarter started off strong with Paly midfielder Ryan Lewis making a swift drive to the net, nearly resulting in a shot. This was quickly followed by a low ground-skimming goal by Wong from far outside of Los Altos’ net to bring the score to 4-1. The quarter continued stagnantly for the most part, with neither team able to gain the upper offensive hand.

With Gupta making several incredible saves, the Viking’s defense restrained Los Altos for the majority of the quarter. However, towards the end of the quarter, Eagles junior Owen Lee managed to score a fast-paced goal after a long sprint, ending the half, 4-2.

According to Lee, the Eagles’ lack of strength in their offense and defense may have been a result of a week-long hiatus over their Spring Break.

“Everybody on the team… wasn’t coming in with the right mindset,” Lee said. “We were coming in rusty and think that’s just most of it — just a couple combinations of bad plays.”

The third quarter was potentially the strongest for the Vikings, where they prevented Los Altos from scoring a single goal and secured control both on offense and defense. Senior attacker Blake Chase made a swift sprint to the net that just fell short of a goal, while Wong continued to pelt Los Alto’s goalie with constant shots. After another close shot by Lee near Paly’s goal, the third quarter ended, 6-2.

The final quarter kept pace with the three before — completely controlled by Paly with its aggressive playing style. Gupta continuously stopped every shot attempt that came towards the Vikings’ goal while Wong made a flashy spin move early in the quarter to create the largest gap of the game, 8-2. The Vikings secured another goal after an assist to sophomore attacker Beau Revenaugh, ending the game with a winning score of 9-3.

Head Coach Daniel Shelton said the Viking’s improvements this game opposed to the last time they played Los Altos were immense.

“[In the first game] They got four or five goals at the beginning of the game and then we were just playing catch up the whole time because we were really tired,” Shelton said. “ We obviously eliminated all those mistakes tonight. And so without those mistakes and falling in that hole right away, we were able to just be the team that we wanted to be right off the bat.”

According to Wong, he hopes that the team continues to play well and finish the regular season strong for the upcoming division tournaments. 

“I think we proved that we can improve throughout the season, especially since we’ve lost his team earlier and now we just blew them out,” Wong said. “I think if we can keep improving we can definitely make a run in playoffs.”

The Vikings play next against Menlo School 12:00 p.m. Saturday at home.