Boys’ soccer suffers first loss of season

Amy Leung, Author

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Schoenberger rushes up to Gunn senior forward Sean MacPherson to try to reach the ball. Paly defeated Gunn 3-0. Photo by Amy Leung.

Paly sophomore midfielder Derek Schoenberger rushes up to Gunn senior forward Sean MacPherson to try to reach the ball. Paly defeated Gunn 3-0 on Jan. 6. Photo by Amy Leung.

The Palo Alto High School boys’ soccer team (11-2-2, 7-1) fell to Monta Vista High School (7-6-4, 1-5-3) by a score of 1-0 earlier today on the Vikings’ home turf, losing for the first time this season after having risen to a ranking of 31st in the nation and 11th in state.

The Vikings went into the game ranked first in the De Anza League, while Monta Vista held the lowest spot.

“We were asleep in the beginning and let up a very easy goal,” junior forward Ariya Momeny said. “It was a wake-up call that we aren’t as invincible as we think we are.”

Senior co-captain and midfielder Preston Kuppe explained that Monta Vista’s early goal inspired the Vikings to play harder, but to no avail.

“Following that goal, we initially were quite motivated to get back in the game and score on them,” Kuppe said. “We actually had a few great chances to score but just couldn’t finish.”

Junior midfielder Cole Tierney attributed the inability to score to a lack of focus.

“Throughout the game, little lapses in concentration really hurt our team,” Tierney said.

Kuppe said it was a mix of of multiple factors that led to the loss.

“We were lacking in every aspect of the game, which is unfortunate because to compete in this league, you need to compete on the field,” Kuppe said.

Momeny, Kuppe and Tierney all agreed that going forward, the team needs to focus on practicing harder and more seriously.

“This [loss] will definitely hurt us,” Momeny said. “But the lesson we learned from the game will propel us through the season because I know we have the ability to succeed.”

The Vikings take on Santa Clara High School (7-5-3, 1-4-2) next at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Santa Clara.