Following a tough loss to crosstown rival Gunn High School (10-4, 9-2), 14-8, the Palo Alto High School girls’ lacrosse team (8-3, 8-3) will take on Mountain View High School (8-2, 6-2) and Pioneer High School (3-7, 6-8) this week in crucial De Anza League matchups.
The Vikings’ three losses this season have come against the top three teams in the league standings: Los Gatos, Gunn, and Mountain View.
On Wednesday, Palo Alto has the opportunity to redeem itself for its tough home loss against the Mountain View Spartans last month, 11-10.
According to senior captain Ellen Goncher, the team has confidence for its Wednesday matchup.
“We are going into this game with the mindset that it is our game to win,” Goncher said. “We had a slow start last game but fought back and just got unlucky towards the end. However, that game proved we have the capability of beating them and any other team even when we get behind. If we play the way we did the second half of the past game, there’s no chance we lose.”
Senior Julie Cornfield says that Mountain View presents special challenges for the team.
“Historically this away game against Mountain View has been really tricky for us since we have to play on grass, so we’ll be practicing on the quad today in order to prepare,” Cornfield said. “We’re focusing on ground balls and good footwork, and working cohesively as a team since that was our main weakness last time we played Mountain View. Last time, we waited until the second half to really get going, so this time we’re going to make sure to score early on and get the momentum up as quickly as we can. This game will dictate what the rest of our season looks like, so we’re stoked to get on the field and give it everything we’ve got.”
On Friday, Paly heads home to face Pioneer High School. In the teams’ previous matchup, the Vikings dominated, winning 13-1.
Despite a commanding victory against Pioneer in the first matchup, Goncher says the girls must remain focused.
“The Gunn game taught us a really valuable lesson that it is incredibly important to play consistently for 50 minutes,” Goncher said. “We’re trying to go into each game the same, no matter the opponent. Obviously, there’s a little extra fire when we’re playing a big opponent, but it is also important we use our easier games to learn about how we function as a unit.”
The girls will face off against Mountain View at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Mountain View High School and will face the Pioneers at 7 p.m. Friday at home.