Boys Soccer Season Preview


The Paly boys soccer team, after coming off an underwhelming shortened season due to COVID-19 are excited to see what this season brings. With a mostly new varsity roster with two junior goalies Charlie Merkel and Isaac Kirby replacing last year’s goalkeeper Teg Singh, as well as new attacking and defending forces, the team is optimistic to outperform the standards set last year. 

“Since almost half the team are juniors, this year’s team is very different in attacking and defending players,” Merkel said.

The Paly boys soccer team started off their season strongly with a win against Cupertino 3-0. 

“It was a great game: the conditions were perfect and we just played really cohesively,” junior Jonas Pao said.

After not really having a season last year, everyone on the team is excited and ready to hit the games with some strength.

“Everyone has been putting a lot of extra work in, either in the gym or on the field, so we are all so pumped for the chance to show off the results of our hard work,” Pao said.

In addition to the players putting in extra time and effort, the coach, Rusty Millard, has certainly been a bright spot for the students, often going above and beyond what is standard for high school coaches

“Since day one coach Rusty has brought so much passion into our program,” Pao said. “He sets the example for how he wants us to act and always upholds himself to that standard.”

Despite the optimism that comes with having a new coach that is excited for the potential of the team and the high spirits after the win against Cupertino, the boys lost against Menlo in their most recent game. Senior captain Jaron Majors scored an early goal but it was cancelled out by two of Menlo’s own, one of which came in the final five minutes of the game, ending the game with a win for Menlo. 

“Our game against Menlo was definitely a reminder that we have a lot to work and improve on, but the effort from everyone was amazing and the wins will come,” junior Isaac Kirby said. 

Regardless of the preseason games thus far, the players are looking forward to improving their record with coach Rusty and improving on last season’s disappointment. 

“We all need to work together this year: the goalies, the offense, the defense – everyone,” Pao said. “We have so much potential and I know we can go really far this year.”