Boys’ soccer loses to Mountain View 2-0


Paly’s head coach Donald Briggs has his team do sprints after losing a tight match to Mountain View 0-2.


Paly lines up for handshakes with the referees after losing to Mountain View. Photo by Hilda Huang

The Palo Alto High School boys’ soccer team (0-9-2) lost 2-0 to Mountain View (10-4-1 overall) in a tight game. Defender Lucas Mohageg (’12) scored both points for the Spartans, with one mid-first half and the other in the last five minutes of the game.

In the second half, the Vikings played mostly on the defensive as the Spartans stood firm on Paly’s side of the field. Pascal Purro (’12) of Mountain View led a play three minutes into the second half, but Paly’s goalie Tony Maharaj (’14) kept the ball securely out of the goal.

Chris Barnes (’13) took another shot for the Spartans but the ball bounced off of the goal. Zach Williams (’12) tried again but this time the ball went over the net.

Despite an injury for Mountain View’s Chauncey Neyman (’13), the Spartans continued playing a heavily offensive game,taking shots whenever the Vikings’ defense was most scattered.

Paly made three offensive plays in the last two minutes of the game but did not score; instead the ball turned over to the Spartans and Mohageg scored the final goal on a header in the 75th minute of play. Maharaj made a first attempt to block the ball, but was ultimately trickedwhen the ball sailed over his outstretched hands as he landed from an earlier jump.

Paly’s tight offensive in the last four minutes was unable to secure any points for the Vikings and the Spartans sailed to win 2-0.

Mountain View’s head coach Jim McGuirk was happy with the way his team played.

“We played a good defensive game and made it really hard for them to give us any trouble at the goals and got a couple of key goals at the right time,” McGuirk said.

McGuirk also noted Paly’s strong defense, adding that the game was not easy for either side.

“Paly did really well, and I know they’ve had some trouble but they play hard,” McGuirk said. “They made it hard for us.”

Paly’s young team faced inexperience, but overall have been improving markedly, according to McGuirk. A notable goalie and strong defense have held the Vikings up in the face of tough opponents.

“Their best quality is that they ball hock – they’re constantly going to the ball,” McGuirk said. “They constantly have two or three bodies going to the ball and it made it very difficult for us. I think Palo Alto’s just going to get better naturally, as they play hard and learn to play in close games like this, I think it’ll just come.”

The Vikings play cross-town rival Gunn for the second time this season next Wednesday, Feb. 1 at Gunn at 3:30.