Girls' soccer: New talent, coaches hope to bring stability to program

November 30, 2009 — by Ren Norris and Olivia Chock

The girls' soccer team has not had the best track record with stable coaches in recent years. This year, however, the team is trying to change that by having history teacher Kim Anzalone continue as head varsity coach, a position she took mid-season last year, with SHS alum Brandon Chow as assistant coach.

Returning players already see a difference that consistent coaches make to the team compared to last season.

"Last year we had a coach who said he was going to be there, but he was really inconsistent, which broke down the team," said senior co-captain Sarah Guy. "The fact that we're starting this year with Anzalone makes the coaching situation much more solid."
With tryouts having been held since late October, the new coaches have had time to witness the talent and hard work many new players bring to the team. Since many of the varsity soccer players graduated last year, there are opportunities for other girls to join the team. In addition, sophomore Sloan Lewis, who was an essential part of the Falcon midfield last season, transferred to Archbishop Mitty. These slots will most likely be filled by underclassmen.

Key returning players include goalie Jan Iyer, who helped the team to several shutouts last season. In addition, the team will look to defenders and co-captains Guy and Sam Li to lead the team from the backfield, and senior Jordan Leonard and sophomores Kari Clark and Courtney Brandt will be an important part of the offense.

However, a majority of the girls who plan on trying out were in fall sports that moved on to the CCS playoffs, which ran though the beginning of the winter season. Field hockey in particular held a large number of soccer players, including Li.

"When fall teams go to CCS, it cuts into soccer season and I'm torn between wanting them to do well in CCS but also wanting them for soccer," said Anzalone. "I go through that every year."

Once the team was formed after fall sport athletes joined, the girls had little time together before the first preseason Palo Alto tournament on Nov. 30.

The El Camino league season begins Dec. 8 and the team will face tough opponents such as Cupertino and Santa Clara.

The players look to improve from last season, and bond together as a team.

"High school season is always really fun because you get to hang out with a lot of different people," said Guy.

In order for success in the league season, Anzalone believes all "diva mentalities" need to be left behind and the team will have to work together.

"We've got the skill," said Anzalone. "We just need to maintain the positive attitudes."

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