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Spartans face tough defeat to rival Los Altos

On Jan. 30, the girls varsity soccer team lost their rivalry game 2-1 against the Los Altos High School Eagles. Mountain View is currently in second place in the De Anza league, while Los Altos holds first place.

“Rivalry games are always very tight and close, so we expected a close match,” coach Jeff Panos said. 

Both the Spartans and the Eagles displayed strong defense in the beginning of the first half. The score remained blank until there was a handball in the penalty box by Los Altos, resulting in a penalty kick. With 17 minutes left in the first half, striker senior Karena Shah scored the first point of the game.

“I felt like that got our momentum going, it was just like back-to-back goals,” midfielder and senior Hailey Westcott said.

With eight minutes left in the first half, striker senior Juno Winegar forced her way through the Los Altos defense, but was unable to score. The Eagles took advantage of Winegar’s missed opportunity, and drove down the field to tie the score at 1-1.

The Eagles’ offense continued to strike, and a Los Altos player scored. However, a different Los Altos player was injured during the play, resulting in a long injury evaluation that paused the game. After the pause in the game, it was determined that the Eagles’ goal would not be counted, due to a Los Altos penalty in the Mountain View box, and Mountain View was awarded a free kick. 

The remainder of the first half consisted of aggressive play from both teams, trying to make a final push before halftime. 

In the beginning of the second half, the Spartans’ held strong. However, the Eagles persisted, and midfielder freshman Brooke Neschleba passed to midfielder junior Anya Lin, who scored, bringing the Eagles to lead at 2-1. 

For the remainder of the second half, the Spartans continued to go on the offensive, but were stopped by the Eagles’ goalie. The Eagles continued to defend their score nearing the end of the game, resulting in the Spartans’ loss, 2-1.

“This is a rivalry game and we all really wanted to win really badly, but it is just another game, so we have to get up,” Shah said.

With Los Altos in first place, the Spartans must win their next three games against Saratoga, Palo Alto, and Homestead High School in order to have a chance at the top seed in the De Anza league, and maintain home field advantage in the playoffs. Regardless, the Spartans have secured a spot in the CCS playoffs. 

“We want to continue being on a good streak going into the playoffs…we fought back in the second half and created chances, and I think we should be proud of the way that we didn’t give up,” Shah said.

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About the Contributors
Krithi Sundar, Editor-in-Chief
Krithi is a senior and serves as the Editor-In-Chief (Print and Web Liaison) for the Oracle. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, going on walks with her dog, and musical theater.
Stephen Messner, Co-Video Editor
Stephen is a sophomore and serves as a videographer for the Oracle. Outside of school, he enjoys playing football, video games, and serving at church
Ava Li, Web Features Editor
Ava is a junior and serves as the Web Features editor for the Oracle. Outside of school, she enjoys dance and drawing as well as running hurdles for track.
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