The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Varsity soccer loses season opener to Menlo-Atherton High School

Matthew Diederich
Junior Kapil Jakatdar runs to beat a Menlo-Atherton defender to the ball during the second half of their game against Menlo-Atherton High School.

The Los Altos High School varsity boys soccer team lost their first game of the season 1–2 on Thursday, November 30 in a back-and-forth battle with Menlo-Atherton High School.

The Eagles enter this season coming off last year’s loss in the CCS Division III semifinals, which marked the first time the team made the postseason since 2019. Despite the loss of several key seniors from last year, Head Coach Roberto Magellan is optimistic about the new additions to the roster.

“We have a promising future for this year,” Magellan said. “We have a solid squad of lots of midfielders and defenders. We’re well balanced.”

The Eagles had their hands full facing a Bears squad who already had two wins under their belt. Early on, the Eagles’ lack of experience showed as Menlo-Atheron contained play within Los Altos territory. After having a goal blocked just five minutes in, the Bears ultimately evaded the Eagle defense and found the back of the net minutes later for a 1–0 lead.

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The game remained in a stalemate until fifteen minutes into the second half when junior Dylan Kovarcik drove past defenders to score the team’s first goal of the season.

“In the first half, we were a little complacent but being down a point in the second half led us to be more hungry,” Dylan said. “We had more chances and we were more physical as well.”

That physicality ended up costing the Eagles a controversial penalty, allowing the Bears a shot at the goal that put them ahead 2–1.

“I’m only going to say that the opponents’ coach didn’t think it was a penalty,” Magellan said on the call. “The result should have been a tie, and I believe that we’re a better team.”

Although the defeat left the Los Altos bench visibly frustrated, the team is hopeful that they’ve found a rhythm on the field.

“We were fighting for the ball and communicating and if we keep doing that for the rest of the season, then I don’t see why we can’t win games,” Dylan said.

Magellan mentioned that his experience coaching both the junior varsity and varsity teams last year will help him hit the ground running with the players. Like last season, their goal remains the same: win CCS.

“We had a shot last year, and we just need to show up with intensity,” Magellan said.

The Eagles will continue to compete in the Christmas Cup tournament when they travel to face Homestead High School and Willow Glen High School this Saturday, December 9.

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Matthew Diederich, Senior Writer

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