The Menlo School girls' soccer team made some history last season on the way to winning its first-ever West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) title and Central Coast Section Division III championship.
One thing that eluded the Knights, however, was a perfect record in league play as they finished 11-1.
That goal remains alive following Menlo's 2-0 victory over host Castilleja on Thursday at Mayfield Soccer Complex. The Knights improved to 10-0 in league (12-2-4 overall) with only Saturday's match at Sacred Heart Prep (3 p.m.) and Tuesday's road game at Priory (3:30 p.m.) left on the regular-season schedule.
Those matches, however, will test Menlo as SHP holds down second place in the WBAL while Priory ranks third.
The Knights set themselves up for the final two tests by beating a solid Castilleja team. The Knights, who clinched the league title last week, ran their unbeaten streak to 13 while out-shooting the Gators, 11-4.
Menlo scored both of its goals in the second half. Five minutes after intermission, junior Sienna Stritter was tripped while she was dribbling in the penalty box. Senior Hannah Rubin converted the penalty kick and the Knights led 1-0.
Fifteen minutes later, Menlo connected on several long passes. Chandler Wickers took three quick dribbles before finding fellow junior Lindsay Karle cutting to the goal. Karle hit her 12-yard shot low in the corner to get past the Gators (2-3-5 league).
Menlo got a strong defensive effort from senior defender Rachel Pinsker and junior midfielder Amanda MacFarland. Senior Julia Dressel made a pair of saves in the first half and freshman Schuyler Tilney-Volk picked up two more in the second.
In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep remained in second place with a 1-0 victory over visiting King's Academy. Alex Bourdillon scored in the 33rd minute off an assist from Taylor Ruegg as the Gators improved to 5-2-4 in league (19 points) and 9-4-5 overall.
In Portola Valley, Santa Clara University-bound senior Mariana Galvan scored three goals to pace host Priory to a 3-1 victory over Notre Dame-San Jose. The Panthers remained in third place at 4-2-4 (16 points) and 5-4-6 overall with two matches remaining.
In San Francisco, Pinewood clinched the WBAL Skyline Division title with a 5-1 victory over host Mercy-San Francisco at Crocker Amazon Field. The Panthers (12-0-1, 13-3-2) still have one match remaining on Tuesday at ICA, but holds a one-game lead and the tiebreaker over second-place Mercy-Burlingame.
Pinewood will play the fourth-place team in the Foothill Division next Thursday, with the winner advancing to the CCS Division III playoffs.
Courtney Copriviza scored two goals for Pinewood with Gretchen Olsen, Maddie Augustine and Leah Hess adding solo tallies.
"Mercy didn't have anything to lose and tried to impose themselves on us by being overly physical," said Pinewood coach Michael Tetzlaff, "but our team is pretty resilient and seemingly has a response to everything."
Menlo-Atherton held on to third place in the PAL Bay Division following a 1-0 victory over host Hillsdale on Thursday. The Bears improved to 6-4-2 in league (20 points) and 9-5-3 overall) and trail first-place Carlmont (28 points) and second-place Sequoia (25) with two matches remaining.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton forfeited five matches and wound up dropping a 48-20 dual-match decision to host Sequoia in a regular-season finale between two winless teams.
Austin Wilson, Sam Stroud, Edward La Haye and Josh Buttram all posted victories for M-A.