Boys’ soccer prevails over the Homestead Mustangs 1-0

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Anna Dukovic

Wesley Woo (’15) goes for a 50-50 ball against a Homestead Mustang player. The Vikings went on to win 1-0.

Anna Dukovic and Megan Valencia, Features Editor and Business Manager

Paly boys’ soccer shutout the Homestead Mustangs 1-0 this afternoon despite various yellow cards and a penalty kick (PK) in the second half. The Vikings currently hold first place in their league with a 5-0 record and no goals scored against them.

The game started off with a free kick for the Mustangs in the 37th minute, which did not result in a goal.  The Vikings received several more fouls throughout the game, including three yellow cards.

Michel-Ange Siaba (‘16) scored the one and only goal of the game during the last few minutes of the half.

Siaba was happy with his goal despite feeling as though he wasn’t playing particularly strong at the start of the half.

“[Scoring felt] very good,” Siaba said. “I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t doing very well… But scoring definitely brought my spirits up and brought the spirits of my teammates up.”

Although the Vikings ended the half with a 1-0 lead, the second half was full of scoring opportunities for the Mustangs.  These opportunities included several free kicks and a PK late in the game.

Goalkeeper Eli Friedlander (’16) recounted what it was like standing on the goal line before the PK.

“I just tried not to think because I didn’t want to get in my head,” Friedlander said. “I usually psych myself out, so I was just trying to control my breathing and focus… I had a feeling that he was going to go to his right. I also saw him open [his hips] up a little bit so I dove to my left.”

After diving left and knocking the ball out of the six-yard box, Friedlander had to get back up and defend a rebound shot. After the ball was finally cleared, Friedlander was able to celebrate the save with his teammates.

“I just [felt] pure adrenaline,” Friedlander said. “I was just so stoked.  But it was kind of sketchy though because the ball was still in.”

Defense has played a key part in the Vikings’ league wins according to head coach Don Briggs.

“The good thing is the two goalies are working well, and our four defenders haven’t come out of the game in five games,” Briggs said.  “They’re doing a nice job. That’s five shutouts now.”

Friedlander echoed Brigg’s comment about having a consistent, strong defensive line.

“I think that our back line has played outstanding the past few games,” Friedlander said. “They’ve stayed focused, and they’ve stayed in every game.”

Although the Vikings’ defense is strong, Briggs believes that they need to improve their offensive strategies.

“I think [we need to work on] controlling the ball and holding onto the ball longer, and then making our finishing crosses,” Briggs said.

The Vikings play next on Saturday at 1 p.m. away against the Los Gatos Wildcats.