Varsity girls soccer continues winning streak with 5–1 win against Gunn


Milan Grbovic

Junior Aoife Turner dribbles past a Gunn defender.

Last Friday, February 3, the Los Altos High School varsity girls soccer team defeated the Gunn High School Titans in an overwhelming 5–1 victory at home. During a vast majority of playtime, the Eagles were able to keep possession of the ball and pressure on Gunn. With Head Coach Zanin Mahic out for a family gathering, Assistant Coach Brandon Pena stepped up to lead the game.

“The team is a good group, a very good group,” Pena said. “They come from good clubs and good coaches, so it’s a bright group looking ahead.”

“It’s so cool to come here and just have so much fun with my friends and my teammates, and it just feels great to represent the Eagles,” junior Aoife Turner said. “Five goals in the back of the net is the highest we’ve scored this season.”

From the beginning of play, the Eagles forced the Titans to be on their back foot. Pressure kept mounting, but nonetheless Gunn was able to withstand it for the time being. This would not stay for long, as around 18 minutes in, Aoife was able to score her first goal of the night to put Los Altos up 1–0. Following the ensuing Gunn kickoff, the Eagles immediately stole the ball and freshman Parisa Abedi was able to put the ball in the Gunn net for the second time in two minutes.

“Everyone was connected, everyone was on the same page,” Pena said. “They were moving the bar really well, and we’ve been working on shape at practice and training and today they got to show that.”

With those two goals, the team was on good footing. But where other teams might have let up, the Eagles kept the high intensity play. The hard work paid off quickly, as after one of Aoife’s shots was not deflected successfully by Gunn, the scoreboard was showing 3–0 for the home team.

“I thought we finished pretty well,” Aoife said. “Our possession was really good and I thought our defense was really strong.”
In the rest of the first half, Gunn seemed to get a little more into the game, but even so Los Altos was still far and above the team that dictated what happened on the field. In the last five minutes, it looked like the Eagle lead would continue to grow after the ball once again found its way into the Titans’ net, but as there was an offside the goal was not counted.

Going into the second, it seemed like more of the same, but Gunn was able to get through the Los Altos defense for a goal 10 minutes in. This unfortunate score change did not put them back in contention for winning, however, as 7 minutes later junior Kieran Harrison—from around 40 yards out—was able to shoot and score the fourth goal of the night for the Eagles.

“My left back, Emma Beedon, yelled at me, ‘Just shoot!’” Kieran said. “So I was like, why not just take the shot and see if it works? And luckily it went in. It was really cool. It was also my first goal this season, so it was an awesome way to check that off.”

Though an Eagle victory was solidified, the pressure was still strong against the Titans. Los Altos chances kept coming, and if Gunn had the ball—which they usually didn’t—possession would without fail shift quickly back to the home team. Gunn would break under the pressure for the final time when Aoife scored her third goal of the night during the last 15 minutes.

“It’s my first hat trick of the high school season this year, so it’s pretty cool,” Aoife said. “I play defense on my club team, so I never have the opportunities to score like this.”

With the rout complete, the Eagles kept their now six game winning streak, a huge change from the start of the season where the team only won one of their first six games.

“The season had a little bit of a slow start,” Pena said. “But I think with more training that gets them involved, and doing more team chemistry with them has helped us a lot. It’s showing in our games and, you know, it’s a strong group. They bond. On the field, but also outside the field. They’re all close friends here.”

The girls team will face the rival Mountain View Spartans at an away game tomorrow, hoping to keep their winning streak and to beat the Spartans for the second time this year.