Boys’ soccer stomps crosstown rival 2-0

Midfielder+Paul+Stefanski+%28%2713%29+scrambles+a+few+Titans+to+get+the+ball+into+Viking+possession.+The+Vikings+went+on+to+defeat+the+Titans+with+a+score+of+2-0.

Midfielder Paul Stefanski (’13) scrambles a few Titans to get the ball into Viking possession. The Vikings went on to defeat the Titans with a score of 2-0.

Paul Bienaimé, Staff Writer

The Vikings’ boys’ soccer team took on the cross-town rival Gunn Titans at home, on Wednesday afternoon. The team took initiative and kept the ball on the right side of the field. Forward Gen Murphy (’13) set the team on a roll by netting the first goal, assisted by center midfielder Kirby Gee (’13).

The Vikings knew what was coming when hosting the Titans.

“We have a much stronger team this year,” midfielder Christian Huard (’13) said. “We also knew that Gunn had lost many of their players this year, especially in [defense] so we knew it would be a close game.”

The Titans played an agressive game as a yellow card was handed to their forward Stefan Jensen in the first half. The Vikings, kept it clean and, were able to keep possession, tire Gunn’s defense and eventually made their way through to a few on-target shots. As the whistle blew, Kirby Gee ended the first half with a curved shot to the right corner, stopped by the Titan goalie.

Opening up the second half, confidence led the boys the wrong way; their defense loosened up allowing Gunn forwards to shoot at their goal. A second yellow card was given to Gunn midfielder Josh Sampson (’16) a few minutes into the half. Followed by an intimidating pass and shot by Titan forward Johnny Sun (’13), the Vikings knew they had to keep their defense tight and did not give up anymore attempts.

Goalie Tony Maharaj (’14) delivered an outstanding performance and kept the ball out of the net. The Titans strengthened their offense making it tough for the boys to snatch the ball. However, Paly managed to get the ball back and get a shot off.

“We kept our shape well and we did great combination plans,” Huard said. “We we’re winning all of the fifty-fifties and that was great.”

Following this effort, center midfielder Preston Kuppe (’15) came into play and quickly delivered his first goal at Paly, leading the Vikings to a 2-0 win over the Gunn Titans. He was pleased with his goal and hopes to do it again.

“I felt great about scoring that goal,” Kuppe said. “It was actually my first goal in my whole Paly career.”

Within the last minute of the game, Maharaj stopped a close shot by Titan Johnny Sun, to wrap up the game.

The boys will be facing Fremont High School at home on Friday afternoon.

“Fremont is number one in our league and we’re hoping to pull a win especially because it is at home,” Huard said. “No doubt about it we’ll be practicing hard tomorrow.”