|Woodside Priory girls' soccer coach Damian Cohen had flowers waiting for his only two seniors -- Maddie Turner and Cami Simpson -- following their final regular-season match on Friday.
It was only fitting that the two seniors were so honored, because both played key roles in a 4-0 victory over Castilleja to close the West Bay Athletic League season.
Simpson led the offense by scoring three goals and adding one assist while Turner led the defense that shut down a good Gators' squad at the Mayfield Soccer Complex.
Their efforts helped the Panthers finish the WBAL season with a 12-0 record (14-6 overall), the first undefeated (and untied) league season in the program's history.
"Very nice," Cohen said of his team's finish.
Priory had clinched its second straight league crown earlier in the week with a 3-0 victory over Mercy-Burlingame, then routed host Harker, 13-1, to set the stage for the perfect league record.
Castilleja (6-4-2, 7-9-4) decided to mark Panthers' scoring leader Massiel Castellanos, who scored three goals the first time the teams met. Castilleja's Hannah Burch shadowed Castellanos the entire match and held her scoreless.
That, however, left Simpson free to roam and score, which she did. Lauren Allen followed in a corner kick in the second half for the final tally.
Woodside Priory will continue its season on Wednesday when it opens the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs against No. 13 seed Latino Prep (5-2-1) at Skyline College at 2:30 p.m.
The Panthers received the No. 4 seed. A first-round win will put Priory in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 16 against the winner of No. 5 Santa Catalina (14-3-2) and No. 12 Redwood Christian (9-4-4).
Santa Cruz, which beat Woodside Priory in the semifinals last season, 5-4 in overtime, is the No. 1 seed. Menlo (10-7-4), which finished fifth in the PAL Bay Division, is the No. 3 seed in Division III. The Knights have a first-round bye and will play the winner of No. 6 King's Academy and No. 11 Mercy-Burlingame on Feb. 16.
In the girls' CCS Division II playoffs, Palo Alto (13-5-2) received the No. 7 seed and will open against No. 10 Cupertino (10-3-7) on Tuesday at Santa Clara High at 2:30 p.m.
A first-round victory, however, will match Palo Alto against No. 2 Mity (15-2-6) next Saturday. Also in the same bracket is SCVAL De Anza Division champ Los Altos, the No. 3 seed. Burlingame (20-0-2) is the No. 1 seed.
On Friday, the Paly girls failed to earn an automatic berth into the CCS playoffs after falling to visiting Mountain View, 1-0, at the Mayfield Soccer Complex. The Vikings finished 5-5-2 in league.
Paly played without All-American midfielder and leading scorer Teresa Noyola, who is competing with the U.S. Under-20 National Team in a four-nation tournament in Chile. She will be gone until Feb. 17. Noyola's talents and distribution skills were obviously missed as the Vikings missed one opportunity after another, especially in the second half after the Spartans had taken a 1-0 halftime lead.
Mountain View's goal was a result of Paly's freshman keeper Alex Kershner mishandling the ball, which she has rarely done this entire season. After a Mountain View shot on goal, the ball bobbled in her hands and popped back out at a Spartans' player who finished the goal -- given the second opportunity. Kershner did have 10 saves.
Paly's starting junior midfielder Jessie Duller missed the match with a pulled quad and sophomore starting midfielder Alex Nguyen went out of the game early in the first half after re-injuring the same knee where she tore her ACL last summer. She may have a slight meniscus tear, which could keep her out of the CCS playoffs.
Gunn avoided being sent down to the SCVAL El Camino Division next season by winning a playoff game against Los Altos on Saturday after both teams finished the De Anza Division season with identical 4-6-2 records.
The playoff match was toughly and went to a shootout after regulation and four overtime periods. Gunn prevailed with a 3-1 win in penalty kicks.
Gunn junior keeper Joseph Welch blocked three Los Altos shots in the penalty shootout. Gunn's lone goal in regulation was scored by David Light.
This match also helped Gunn (9-9-3) get an at-large spot in next week's CCS Division I playoffs. Gunn has a No. 12 seed in the Division I playoffs and will play at No. 5 Woodside (11-2-7) in the opening round on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.
In the CCS Division II playoffs, Palo Alto (12-4-5) received the No. 8 seed and will visit No. 9 Sequoia (8-5-5) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
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