The flame of rivalry between MVHS and LAHS has existed for many years and has sparked many competitive games across the school’s respective teams. The varsity girls soccer teams from the two schools have competed against each other for years, with MVHS winning the majority of the games. This season, the first match against LAHS ended in a draw, but a new strategy may prove otherwise.
To defeat the LAHS squad in the game on Friday, Coach Jeff Panos reviewed film from the previous game in order to exploit weaknesses seen in LAHS in the upcoming game.
“[Our strategy] has changed because we have played them already, and dissected their entire playstyle on film,” Panos said. “They’re a heavy pressure defensive team, spreading the ball around the field in order to win.”
With this information, MVHS team captain and senior Janvi Subramanyan motivated the team to play with high pressure on the opposing team’s defense in order to create more offensive opportunities.
“Last time, we didn’t come out as hard as we should have. We need to improve physicality, and to take shots at a distance to be swift with our victory,” Subramanyan said. “The longer we wait, the greater advantage they have against us.”
According to senior team captain Shannon Gould, the team needed to score goals early onto not let LAHS have a chance to get back in the game with a goal.
“To win, we need to shut them out in the first half,” Gould said, “or else they’ll definitely have the upper hand against us. We need to be prepared for the fact that they always go for the one with the ball. We need to ensure that they don’t score on us, because of their highly defensive strategy.”
Additionally, according to Coach Panos, there are opportunities to exploit the holes the LAHS team creates by double and triple teaming players on the ball.
“We observed two to three defenders on the one with the ball. They were highly defensive, but they put all of their eggs in one basket which left giant holes in the field,” Panos pointed out. “We can use that to our advantage to take control over the field when those holes are exposed.”
On Friday, the MVHS girls varsity soccer team defeated the LAHS team with an overwhelming victory of four to one.