After a thrilling victory over Wilcox, boys’ soccer is now 8-3 overall

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Ami Drez

Cina Vacir (’14) prepares for a corner kick that allowed Paul Stefanski (’13) to score. Vacir’s corner kick was one of many that contributed to Paly’s win.

Ami Drez, Staff Writer

After coming back from winter break, the Paly boys’ varsity soccer team was able to pull together an impressive 3-2 win against Wilcox.

However, head coach Don Briggs emphasized the team’s shortcomings.

“I still don’t think we’ve gotten to our full form from before the break,” Briggs said. “We’re still not quite in sync. So that affected our game.”

In the first half, the Vikings started out strong, maintaining possession. Although, with turnovers from both teams, neither was able to gain possession on its attacking end of the field. However, Paul Stefanski (’13) made a steal was able to get a breakaway. After passing two defenders, he then made a move, faked out the goalie and found Chris Meredith (’13) in front of the goal for an easy assist and the first goal of the game.

However, the game was no longer as favorable for the Vikings, as each team struggled to find the back of the net. After going back and forth Paly, lost possession and Wilcox was able to tie up the score at 1-1. Looking to gain a lead, Paly struggled to put the ball away before the end of the half.

At the start of the second half, Paly was unable to find the back of the net, failing against the Wilcox defense. After a Paly turnover, Wilcox scored the first goal of the second half, to jump out to a 2-1 lead.

Briggs commented that the Vikings made some key mistakes early in the second half.

“When we were down by one, we were having trouble scoring and defensively we were making some mistakes that are uncharacteristic for us,” Briggs said.

Despite the mistakes, goalie Tony Maharaj (’14) was able to save a goal at a crucial moment in the game. As the second half was nearing the end, Paly’s attack stepped up big.

After maintaining possession on attack and several corner kicks, Cina Vacir (’14) kicked the ball right in front of the post, giving Stefanski an easy header to tie up the score at 2-2. With only a few minutes left, Stefanski hustled to the ball, faked out both the defenders and the goalie, and scored to give Paly the win, 3-2.

“Towards the end and in the beginning it was one of our better games, but in the middle we had some slow parts,” Stefanski said. “It was close but we pulled it together and it was a solid game overall.”

Coach Briggs shared Stefanski’s sentiments.

“In the end it was just hustling and individual effort by a few guys,” Briggs said.

The Vikings will take on Milpitas High School on the road this Wednesday.