January 31, 2019 —
After a strong 3-1-1 preseason, the girls’ soccer squad has hit a rough patch as of late, failing to win their last three games while dropping to fifth in the De Anza league. The team still has a good shot to qualify for the CCS playoffs but will need a strong showing in their second half of league play.
The team has completed the first half of their league season, winning only one of its six games, and holding a 1-3-2 record. Their one win was a 3-0 victory against Fremont.
Coach Ben Maxwell has had a tough time figuring out lineup combinations with the numerous injuries the team has suffered this year. Most importantly, the Falcons lost junior forward Ananya Krishnan to a nagging leg injury. Krishnan was the team’s leading goal scorer and attempted to play through the pain for two games. However, after severely re-injuring her leg during the second game, Krishnan has remained out since winter break. The team is still hopeful that Krishnan will return this season.
Not having Krishnan for the entirety of their league season thus far has made scoring goals extremely hard for the team. In games which the Falcons score more than two goals, they are undefeated.
However, when the Falcons fail to reach the back of the net, it creates a snowball effect that hurts their defense as well. For example, during their match against Mountain View, the No. 1 ranked team in the league, the Falcons altered their gameplan.
According to sophomore Michelle Lim, the team employed a defense-first approach to counteract the explosive goal scoring of Mountain View.
“Since Mountain View was so good offensively, we came out really defensively in the first half, and it didn’t go so well, so we had to quickly change that after halftime,” Lim said.
It wasn’t enough. The team ended up losing 5-0 to the Spartans. Despite the blowout, the Falcons have remained relatively competitive in every other league game, giving them hope of entering the second half of league.
“We are getting better every game, and we’ve had some really good games,” Lim said. “We have really good chemistry, and share the ball well. As long as everyone plays for each other, we should do really well for the rest of the season.”
The team will face Homestead in their senior night today. The Falcons lost to them in a 2-1 heartbreaker during their last match, and hope that being at home with the senior night environment will help turn the tables.
Their match against Homestead also has playoff ramifications, and the Falcons still have a chance to make the CCS, and the rest of their league games will determine their seeding.
“We lost to [Homestead] the last time we played them, so it will be a tough game but we still have a chance at CCS,” senior goalie Jennah El-Ashmawi said. “It really depends on the next couple games.