Varsity Boys Soccer

Leland 2, Palo Alto 1 (OT)

Date of competition: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

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One year removed from tying for the Central Coast Section Division I championship, the Palo Alto boys’ soccer team saw its season end with a 2-1 overtime loss to host Leland in the opening round of the section playoffs on Wednesday in San Jose. The No. 7-seeded Vikings finished the year 8-6-7 while No. 10 Leland (13-3-4) advances to the quarterfinals on Saturday to face No. 2 Alisal (15-1-3).

Paly started the scoring in the first two minutes when sophomore James Maa took a back pass from John Anderton and put a nice shot into the right corner. The game continued back and forth and ended at 1-0 at the half.

“We did not expect the game to remain at 1-0,” said Paly coach Don Briggs, “and it proved a correct assumption when an unfortunate turn took place with 15 minutes remaining -- when the referee awarded a penalty kick when (Leland’s) Jon Chavez tripped up along the end-line near the corner of the box. Chavez converted the PK.”

The score remained tied and moved into overtime (two 10-minute periods). In the sixth minute of overtime, a Paly defender who was attempting a clear, hit the ball off a Leland forward who took the ball and placed it into the side of the net. The next 14 minutes continued with Paly having several near scores but could not put the ball in the goal.

“This lack of scoring has been our primary problem all season and came back to haunt us in the end,” Briggs said. “We had many opportunities to put the game away, but allowed Leland to stay close in the first half. A very disappointing end for Paly in a game that was well-played by both teams.”

Briggs singled out efforts by Alex Freeman, Jenner Fox, Ethan Plant Anderton -- all seniors. They kept Palo Alto in the hunt throughout the game. Briggs said it was a tough good-bye for a solid senior group.

posted by Palo Alto Online on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm

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