Menlo School won the first half and Palo Alto the second, but neither team came away with a victory as the Knights and Vikings played to a 2-2 deadlock during a nonleague girls' soccer match on Thursday in Atherton.
It was a game of two very different halves as Menlo (1-2-3) controlled the first half with a strong team effort and Paly (1-4-1) took charge in the second half.
Menlo created many scoring opportunities early on and then jumped on top in the 10th minute on a curling 20-yard shot just inside the far post by senior Priya Medberry off an assist from junior Lindsay Karle. In the 24th minute Menlo junior Alexandra Walker sent in a cross that freshman Elena Gray knocked in from 10 yards out to give the Knights a 2-0 halftime lead.
Early in the second half, Menlo junior midfielder Amanda McFarland left the game with an injury and the game's momentum immediately changed. Palo Alto possessed the ball and created numerous scoring opportunities. The Vikings scored at 22 minutes on an 18-yard shot by Olivia Musil (her first career goal) off an assist by Nina Kelty. Then, with just seven minutes remaining, Paly's Sunny Lyu scored to the near post from 10 yards out.
Menlo goalkeeper Julia Dressel played well in the first half, finishing with four saves. Senior defenders Hannah Rubin and Rachel Pinsker along with junior Emma LaPorte led the Menlo defense/midfield.
Both teams played without key starters, sidelined by injuries. Paly was without freshman Jacey Pederson and Menlo was missing Jaye Boissiere. Both teams now will be on holiday break before returning for league matches in January.
In other action Thursday:
The Sacred Heart Prep girls' soccer team opened defense of its West Bay Athletic League title with a 2-0 victory over visiting Castilleja on Thursday afternoon.
Nicola Wheeler provided the winning goal for the Gators (1-0, 5-1-1) when she sent a long ball from nearly 40 yards out that bounced past the Castilleja keeper with less than 20 minutes gone in the match.
In the second half, SHP freshman broke free and sent a cross to the middle, where senior Kendall Jager finished it off to a 2-0 lead. Jager is just getting back into action after missing two months with a sprained ankle.
Castilleja (1-3-1), which is playing six freshmen, had a good opportunity late in the match when Katherine Hobbs fired off a shot that was right at the SHP keeper. SHP did a solid defensive job, meanwhile, in blanking Castilleja junior standout Gabby Kaplan.