The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Looking Forward to Menlo’s 2023-24 Soccer Seasons

Girls:

In the 2022-23 season, the Menlo girls soccer team won the West Bay Athletic League. This winter, they’re coming back for more.

Dorothy Zhang protects the ball from
a Sacred Heart player. File photo: CoA staff

It won’t be easy, as junior Angelica Chou is currently out after tearing her ACL in March. Chou was recognized as the Most Valuable Player by the coaches and Midfielder of the Year for the West Bay Athletic League last season. “She’s a completely dominant force for us,” head coach Ross Ireland said. “It’ll take a lot of effort to make up for her absence.”

The team lost 10 seniors last year, many of them starters, including Tabitha Corcoran, who was the 2022 Defender of the Year for the West Bay Athletic League. According to Ireland, there are four or five potential players to fill in for Corcoran’s position of center back. “I do think that this year’s freshmen and sophomores have the potential to fill those gaps,” Ireland said. He also believes the current juniors can step in to fill these roles.

While sophomore goalkeeper Bianca Putanec was already on the team last season, now that Sam Sellers has graduated, Putanec will play a more prominent role on the team as the primary goalkeeper. “She will fill in comfortably,” Ireland said.

Although the team lost many seniors last year, the players believe the underclassmen will step up and contribute significantly to the program. “We’ll see how they’re going to fit into the team, and we’re excited to gauge how well they do,” senior and captain Dorothy Zhang said.

The girls tied in their first game of the season on Nov. 28 against Sequoia High School and lost their second game against Woodside High School on Nov. 30. They have four more preseason games and a tournament before beginning league play on Jan. 9. “We have high hopes for this year,” Zhang said.

 

Boys:

In the 2022-23 boys soccer season, the team placed second in the West Bay Athletic League below Sacred Heart Prep. The team is hoping to come back even stronger this season. 

Last year, four seniors were on the team: Aidan Skinner, Dylan Gold, Edwin Alvarez and Ethan Yuen. “We lost a lot of really good seniors,” senior and captain Sandro Velazquez said. 

Gabriel Sandoval dribbles the ball up the field during a home game at Wunderlich. File photo: CoA staff

There are 12 current seniors playing on the team this winter. “Our returning seniors are a strong and proud group. Not only in playing experience, but time spent together within the program. It’s very clear that this season cycle means a lot to them,” head coach Daniel Hicker said.

This winter, Hicker, also the Director of Sports Performance, returns as the head coach for the team. The varsity team has many assistant coaches to assist the players, including Eric De La Cerda, who currently plays for the San Jose Earthquakes II as a goalkeeper. 

“We have a team leadership group consisting of four seniors and a junior and sophomore representative. We meet weekly to discuss the constructs of the program and continue the feedback loop for our growth and development,” Hicker said.

Although the season is just starting, the team is looking forward to playing together once again. “We’ve built this kind of brotherhood amongst us,” Velazquez said. 

The close-knit team is excited to continue practicing and getting better. “We’ve got to work towards the top to be at the top,” Hicker said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Eleanor Kinder, Copy Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: learning more about the community around me and getting to share it

Interests outside of school: volleyball, hanging out with my friends, and spending time with my dog
Class of 2026

Comments (0)

The Coat of Arms encourages dialogue with our audience. We welcome constructive comments that avoid slander, hate, profanity and misinformation. In an effort to give voice to a variety of perspectives, anonymous comments will be considered, but signed comments are preferred. If you would like to submit an anonymous comment, please write "Anonymous" in the "Name" field below. While a valid email address is required, The Coat of Arms will not publish your email address. The Editorial Board will review comments and decide whether they will be put online; the editors reserve the right to edit for concision.
All The Coat of Arms Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *