Boys Soccer Come Back in Thrilling Fashion Against Paly

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On Saturday night, the boys soccer team took on the Palo Alto Vikings and finished the game with a 1-1 tie. 

As soon as the first whistle blew, M-A was on their heels. The tone was set for the entire game when the ball soared past senior goalie Chase Trigg and into the back of the net.

Immediately, M-A’s game plan had to change. Senior midfielder Albrecht Tribukait said, “We wanted to keep a high intensity and play hard. We were down a goal so it was difficult. We wanted to keep the ball and not concede another one because they were just playing counterattack.”

Alvarez’s clean slide tackle saves possible shot attempt

The Bears began playing much more conservatively, keeping the ball in their half and searching for chances to push it up the line if they could. Junior defender Manases Alvarez was a big part of this, as he carefully navigated M-A’s lower third, clearing the ball and attempting to jumpstart the Bears’ offense.

Soon enough, opportunities began to appear for M-A, as costly mistakes began to pile up for the Vikings. Shot after shot, narrow miss after narrow miss, frustrations were mounting as the clock wound down in the first half, and the Bears finished the half down 1-0. 

Coach Brian Mansell said, “We thought at halftime, where were they uncomfortable playing? Where were they the weakest? It was in their defensive third.”

Mansell addresses the team at half

M-A’s sense of urgency began to rise as their rhythm grew in the second half, and an onslaught of chances followed. Paly seemed content to sit on their 1-0 lead, attempting to waste time at every opportunity, The Vikings went so far as to stand in front of the ball on an M-A free kick, resulting in a yellow card against Paly. 

Paly also committed numerous physical fouls against M-A as they fought to stay ahead of the Bears. Yet, with 11 minutes showing on the clock, an M-A corner sailed into the box, and junior forward Nate Thurlow redirected it past the goalkeeper and into the net, evening up the score 1-1 with plenty of time to spare.

Thurlow knocks one past the goalie to tie it up late

Thurlow said, “It was a corner, and my boy hit a great cross and saw me open on the near post, it was just as simple as heading it in. It had been coming for a long time. We had a lot of chances throughout the game, and it was great to finally get one.”

Thurlow’s equalizer proved to be the last score of the game, but not before Paly began to push up on the Bears again. Trigg took away Paly’s free kick to force a narrow miss, and dove to save the Vikings’ last-ditch attempt before the final whistles.  

Mansell said, “Today was all about fighting. We gave away a goal in the first minute, 45 seconds into the game. So we dug a hole, and then the opponent was just happy to drop off and let us possess the ball… It was just a game situation and dealing with that situation and having to adapt.”

The boys will return to the field tomorrow at 4:30 pm to take on the San Mateo Bearcats. 

Sam Leslie is a senior at M-A and is in his second year of journalism. As a sports editor, he both reports on games and helps oversee the Chronicle's sports reporting. He also has done extensive reporting on Detracking and other equity issues. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, watching sports, and listening to music.

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