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The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Boys’ soccer dominates Mustangs

Palo Alto High School Viking senior midfielder Richard Ogawa defends the ball from a Homestead High School Mustangs defender during the boys’ varsity soccer game on Tuesday. The Vikings defeated the Mustangs, 4-0, keeping their chance to qualify for the Central Coast Championship alive. According to Mustang head coach Adam Clarke, both teams were extra eager to win given what was at stake. “Tonight was brutal,” Clarke said. “We needed to win to make the playoffs, and we also knew that Paly also had to win. There was a lot at stake coming into the match”. (Photo: Joy Tan)

In a high-stakes game, the Palo Alto High School varsity boys’ soccer team (2-6-2) dominated the Homestead High School Mustangs (3-6-2) on Tuesday at home for a chance at qualifying in the Central Coast Championship, defeating them 4-0.

According to Viking head coach David Light, winning this game was crucial.

“We needed to win today,” Light said. “We could tie our next game and then win the last one to not get relegated and also make CCS. It was nice to get our first big win of the season.”

Viking junior striker Alec Bonnard kicked things off with a goal in the eighth minute, putting Paly up 1-0.

Bonnard scored with an assist from Viking freshman center-back Oakley Koegler just 11 minutes later.

That was it until the last 20 minutes of the game, when Viking senior Redmond Haynes received a pass from a corner kick and shot the ball into the goal extending the lead to 3-0.

With two minutes left in the game, after a successful feint, Viking senior middle back and right-wing Anzel Zhen kicked the ball into the back of the net, securing another point for the Vikings and ending the game 4-0.

One of the most impactful moments of the game occurred just minutes into the second half when Viking sophomore right back Nathan Lee suffered an injury after a rough collision with another Mustang Player and was out of the game. According to Viking assistant coach Emilio Gonzalez, Lee was important to the flow of the game.

“‘We most definitely experienced a loss of momentum,” Gonzalez said. “He [Nathan] is a good wing and defensive player. It[Nathan’s injury] was a good source of motivation for the other players. We wanted to put the goals in for him.”

As a result of the pressure to win the game, Haynes said he pushed himself even harder in the second half.

“We all knew we had to perform today, and everyone came out hard,” Haynes said. “We lost Nathan and had to play an extra 10 minutes[of injury time], but we were able to score goals because of it[the extra 10 minutes].”

According to Gonzalez, the team’s strong communication allowed them to win the game.

“We needed to communicate and make sure everyone was talking and accountable for every play that they’re in,” Gonzalez said. “Being vocal was a big contributor to the energy.”

The Vikings were scheduled to play their next league match 7 p.m. Thursday away against the Mountain View High School Spartans (9-0-1); if they win or tie, they have a shot at making it to CCS playoffs.

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About the Contributors
Joy Tan
Joy Tan, Sports Editor, Multimedia Editor
Joy Tan (class of 2026) joined The Voice in her sophomore year and enjoys playing volleyball and taking photos.
Ava Knapp
Ava Knapp, News Editor
Ava Knapp (Class of 2026) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. She does cross country/track and field and plays the piano.

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