The M-A varsity girls soccer team took to the field on Wednesday, December 7, for its first home scrimmage against Mountain View. While league games have not officially started, the Bears already played in two scrimmages that resulted in unfortunate losses, against Archbishop Mitty High School (1-0) and Palo Alto High School (5-0). Last year, Mountain View beat the Bears 2-0 in the pre-season.
Mountain View started out the game with the kickoff. Within the first minute, sophomore Elizabeth Young, a left defender, got hurt and had to be pulled from the game due to a knee injury. Three minutes later, Mountain View got the first shot on goal, which M-A goalie Breanna Sandoval, a junior, saved. M-A attempted a header goal in the eighth minute.
Twenty minutes into the first half, Mountain View had a breakaway goal; the shot just slid by Sandoval. After the goal, the Bears had several scoring opportunities in the first half but were unlucky. Key plays made by the offensive line included corners, taken by senior Nicole Salz, and shots by senior Katie Guenin and junior Diana Morales. Morales, a new addition to the team, is a left-wing who had huge breakaways, giving the bears important opportunities to pressure the Mountain View defensive line.
The two senior center defenders for the Bears, Ali Sivilotti and Allison Galbraith, stopped many of the Mountain View forwards from scoring again. Near the end of the half, junior Josephine Cotto played a phenomenal ball to Morales, who nearly scored for the Bears. Later, senior Alissa McNerney took a shot, which nutmegged a Mountain View defender, but was then stopped by the keeper.
In the second half, both teams came back on the field looking to score. Mountain View kept high pressure on the Bears, and Sandoval saved two goals in the first 20 minutes. Finally, the Bears were able to take control of the ball, which Cotto passed downfield; Morales was able to trap the pass and shoot a well-placed shot to the lower left corner, scoring the first goal for M-A.
With the game tied, both Mountain View and M-A fought hard for another goal. Junior Mara Cavallaro, as well as McNerney and senior Margaret Child, played an important role in pressuring the Mountain View defense.
Near the end of the game, Guenin sprinted down the field and passed by a Mountain View defender. The Mountain View goalie came out, and Guenin managed to shoot the ball just around her. The shot was extremely close, but another Mountain View defender cleared the ball just before it went into the goal. Guenin had another big breakaway, this time down the right wing. She beat her defender and took a hard shot to the left side of the goal, which just missed.
Mountain View countered the Bears’ attempts on goal with a breakaway and got past M-A defenders. Sandoval came 40 yards out and took on the Mountain View player, blocking the shot and clearing the ball.
Mountain View and M-A continued to fight for control of the ball with close goals by both sides, but the clock wore down. The teams tied 1-1. The Bears fought hard and had an exciting game, and they look forward to the season beginning in January!