Toothless Attack Leaves Los Altos Wanting More Versus Gunn

With a new season ahead, the varsity girls soccer team looked to make an emphatic start and win their first game.  The only thing standing in their way was a Gunn team that wasn’t going to go down easily.

To a neutral supporter who has no knowledge of the score, Los Altos’s game vs Gunn would seemingly be a blowout in favor of Eagles.  However, in the game of soccer, the final score doesn’t always follow the run of play, a lesson that the girls soccer team learned first-hand as they fell to Gunn by the score of 1-0.

The Eagles came out fast in the first twenty minutes and were able to create a few chances due to their high line of pressure.  In just the ninth minute, Los Altos threatened as senior midfielder Sara Friend was able to pick the ball up at midfield and play a perfectly weighted ball through to senior winger Stephanie Kouvelas.  Gunn, however, recovered quickly and was able to clear the ball for a throw-in.

“We play with two [strikers] up top,” Sara said. “We try to press up high [and win the ball].”

The first shot of the game came in the 17th minute when the ball fell to the edge of the box for junior striker Hannah Wendelken, who fired it just wide right of the goal post.  After a shaky start,  Gunn regrouped and in the 37th minute forced the Los Altos goalkeeper to come off her line to stop a sure goal.  In the last play of the first half, Sara found herself in space after weaving through two Gunn defenders and played it out wide to junior left back Megan Wooley who sent the ball across goal to Stephanie, but Stephanie’s touch let her down and Gunn was able to clear to end the half.

“We had possession most of the game,” Sara said. “I think we had a little trouble finishing our chances and actually putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Missed opportunities was the theme of the second half for Los Altos and is surely came back to bite them.  Just eight minutes into the second half, Stephanie threaded the ball through the gunn defense to Hannah who only had one more defender to beat. With a nifty move, Hannah was able to create a yard of space inside the box but her shot flew just over the bar.  Another perfect chance came in the 62nd minute as the ball dropped perfectly to junior midfielder Quinn Wooley but her goal-bound shot was deflected inches over the crossbar.  By the 71st minute, both teams were pushing for the deciding goal leaving huge spaces in the midfield.  In the last minute of the game, Gunn was able to take advantage of that space and after a few fortuitous bounces off Los Altos defender’s legs the ball fell right to the feet of the Gunn striker.  With only the goalie to beat and the game on her foot, the striker coolly slotted the ball into the corner of the net, giving the Titans a 1-0 lead.  This was heartbreaking for the Eagles as the goal was Gunn’s first shot on net and marked the last big play before the game ended.

“We gave it a really good shot,” junior center-back Emily Pie said. “Our possession was there, but when it comes the final third, we need to [put away] our chances.”

Los Altos now has an 0-1 record in league but they will look to change that in their next game on January 13 against Fremont.  Their next home game is on January 15 versus Lynbrook.  While the loss is tough, the team will look at each for motivation to win the next game.

“We have a lot of inspirational people on the team,” Emily said. “We like to play for each other.”