Season preview: Girls’ soccer sets a goal for success

Saba Moussavian, Author

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Junior utility player prepares to kick a long ball in a game last year. The Palo Alto High School girls’ soccer team beat the Saratoga Falcons, 3-0, on Jan. 15 at home.

Junior utility player Jacey Pederson prepares to kick a long ball in a game last year. The Palo Alto High School girls’ soccer team beat the Saratoga Falcons, 3-0, on Jan. 15 at home. Photo by Maddy Jones

The Palo Alto High School girls’ soccer team hopes for a Central Coast Section win in its second year back in the De Anza Division, the stronger of the two divisions in the Santa Clara County Athletics League.

Paly finished last year with an overall record of 11-5-5 and a league record of 6-2-4. This year, the team expects to battle for a league championship in the De Anza Division.

“I think we definitely proved we belong in that [the De Anza] division [last year],” said junior co-captain and returning league MVP Jacey Pederson.

It has been a decade since the Paly girls’ team  has won the league title, according to assistant coach Eric Seedman.

Last year, the team made it to the semifinals of CCS playoffs, but lost to the eventual champions, Los Gatos High School, with an overall record of 12-4-5 and a league record of 7-3-2.

“Ultimately I think our goal is to get to and win the CCS finals,” Pederson said.

Seedman says he believes the team has a good shot this year at both titles.

“I do feel that the players are very skilled and talented, so we can meet our goals of winning our league and the CCS title,” Seedman said.

The team will however suffer the loss of key players after graduating Sunny Lyu, Megan Tall, Jess Branson and Julia Kwasnick. In addition, a recent collarbone injury to senior co-captain Olivia Musil has put her out for part or possibly all of the season, which is a major setback for the team, according to Seedman. However, Seedman says he believes the team will still preform well.

“Although they are very good players and difficult to replace, we are confident that our returning players have improved significantly and that we have some very promising newcomers,” Seedman said.

The Vikings will play the Evergreen Valley Cougars in a pre-season game at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, at Paly.