The MVHS girls soccer team came into their game on Wednesday, Jan. 17 undefeated in their past six league games, and were looking to continue their success against a highly ranked Fremont HS team.
“They had a very similar standing to us,” sophomore Jaimie Chan said, “so I knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy battle, but it was still winnable.”
Throughout the first half, the Matadors pressed hard against the FHS defense. After a couple of shots on goal, freshman Leena Tanway scored the game’s opening goal.
“We got excited, and we were really happy we scored because it gives us the head on the other team,” Tanway said, “but at the same time we needed to make sure that we kept our cool.”
As the half progressed, the FHS coaching staff became increasingly frustrated, arguing with each other over the right course of action. MVHS seemed to have the advantage over the other team.
Meanwhile, freshman Hana Foster went down after a foul with a sprained ankle and would not return to game play for a week. As Tanway explained, forwards need to be rotated out regularly due to the high amounts of running they do up and down the field. With Foster out of the rotation, the team was forced to rely on players who may not have had sufficient rest.
“She’s very fast so that kind of affected us as a team, because we weren’t able to keep up with that speed and get to the balls as easily,” Tanway said.
However, her injury provided the team with even more motivation to finish the first half strong.
“It actually gave us some seconds to like gather ourselves and talk to each other,” senior captain Srinidhi Balaraman said. “That’s how the second [part] of the first half started getting a little better.”
Despite strong vocal support from the bench throughout the game, a few missed opportunities began to pile up. The Matadors knew that FHS wanted to keep them in the middle of the field, but weren’t pushing outside enough according to their coach. As an FHS attempt landed in the back of the net, the team started to get a little concerned.
“We definitely got a little worried as soon as the first goal happened, … they get into your head after that,” Balaraman said.
Soon after, senior Sara Nordby scored off a pass from Chan, bringing the score to 2-1. But despite the renewed energy and excitement, FHS scored twice more with eight minutes to spare, ending the game 2-3.
Aside from a close battle, the FHS game was also Tanway’s second to last with the team, as she moved to Leland HS.
“I honestly just wish I could play the rest of the season here cause these girls are, they’re girls that I truly love, and some of my best friends are in this team,” Tanway said.
As a freshman, she appreciated her older teammates willingness to listen to her ideas and advice.
“It helps with confidence and everything cause I see that as one of the younger players I’m still able to affect the team and still help everybody out,” Tanway said. “On other teams you definitely wouldn’t see that, but the girls here are really welcoming… it definitely helps on the field because you know everybody trusts each other.”
The MVHS girls soccer team will have their next home game against Cupertino HS on Jan. 24.