Paly girls’ soccer defeats Saratoga in home opener

Alys Olmstead and Zach Levitan

The Paly girls’ soccer team triumphed over Saratoga in their league home opener, with a final score of 5-0. The win started them off on a strong note and places them as a force to reckoned with in the league.

The game started slow with Paly dominating, but not executing their chances or playing at their highest level of skill.

“We started off the game kind of slow,” Jacey Pederson (‘16) said. “Luckily that didn’t affect the outcome too much.”

Paly still had very strong opportunities from Katie Foug (‘15) and Emily Tomz (‘18). With the consistent possession of the midfield and strong backline, led by left-back Pederson, the girls managed to stay dominant despite the score being 0-0.

“I think Tomz really stood out today,” Pederson said. “She really helped keep our possession and movement fluid and it is nice to see a freshman with that kind of potential.”

A shift in energy occurred at minute 35 of the half when Pederson’s cross deflected off of the Saratoga goalkeepers fist and the ball was driven in by Natalie Maloney (‘17) to make the score 1-0 at the half.

“We just weren’t energetic enough in the first half,” Coach Eric Seedman said. “But that really shifted after our first goal.”

The Vikings came out strong in the second half scoring almost immediately in the 36th minute with a cross my Talia Malchin (‘17) and a finish by Foug.

“We definitely came out stronger in the second half,” Malchin said. “The goal late in the first half really got us pumped and more focus for the second part of the game.”

The dominance continued when five minutes later midfielder Tomz assists forward Heidi Moeser for a goal to the low left side. Making the score 3-0 early on in the half.

“We struggled a lot in the first half,” Seedman said. “In the second half we were really able to succeed and execute by connecting our passes more and hussling.”

Saratoga began to gain momentum with a fast through ball to their forward. The Paly defense was caught with numbers down after Pederson had streaked up the sideline, but a play by keeper Dhara Yu (‘17) coming out saved the Vikings shutout.

Tomz continued her strong night and scored again in the 20th minute with a goal off a rebound off one of the Saratoga defenders. The Vikings now led 4-0 with half the half remaining.

Three minutes later Paly scored their final goal of the evening with a cross by Nika Woodfill (‘16), which was then rebounded and slotted in by Foug to Ansley Queen (‘16) making the score 5-0 with 17:50 left to play.

Paly proceeded to use their possession and slow down the game in an effort to keep their lead and continue to dominate. The Vikings stayed on top and will continue their season witha  game on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Santa Clara High School.