It was only a year ago that the Sacred Heart Prep boys' soccer team started the season by losing its first four matches. The Gators wound up losing eight the entire season, including two to King's Academy in league play.
Sacred Heart Prep is off to a much better start this season and already has avenged one of those losses to King's, thanks to a 3-1 triumph on Wednesday in Sunnyvale. The Gators, in fact, used that triumph to grab control of the West Bay Athletic League race, improving to 5-0 in league for 15 points. Sacred Heart holds a solid five-point lead over both Eastside Prep (3-1-1) and Menlo (3-1-1) heading into a big match Friday against visiting Menlo at 3 p.m.
Sacred Heart Prep (7-3 overall) struck quickly as freshman Joseph Bolous took a pass from Victor Ojeda and converted at the 4:41 mark of the first half. Kyle Scherba followed some 22 minutes later on a penalty kick. SHP made it a 3-0 match when Jack Odell found Andrew Liotta, who scored at the 46-minute mark. The Gators lost their shutout when King's scored at the 62-minute mark.
In Atherton, the WBAL race just got a lot more interesting as Eastside Prep handed host Menlo a 1-0 defeat. The victory moved the Panthers (3-1-1, 3-2-3) into a second-place tie with the Knights (3-1-1, 5-4-1), both of whom trail first-place Sacred Heart Prep (5-0), which hosts Menlo on Friday at 3 p.m.
Eastside Prep senior Darryl Sepulveda, who during the fall was a standout cross-country runner, provided the winning goal in the first half off an assist from Javier Magana in the 15th minute. Menlo had its chances, out-shooting the visitors 18-5.
The Knights' Vikram Padval hit the right post in the 11th minute and Dawson Williams missed a shot wide right a few minutes later before Eastside scored. Panthers' goalie Manuel Chavez had eight saves, two big ones coming late in the second half to preserve the victory.
Scores from the Menlo-Atherton at Burlingame and Pinewood at Priory matches were not submitted.
Menlo-Atherton team opened its PAL Bay Division season with a 63-45 loss to host Mills on Wednesday evening, opening the door for perhaps more questions than answers. If nothing else, the Bears (0-1, 8-7) proved that they need to be more consistent after losing their third game in the past four outings.
Darryl (25 points) and Kyle Wong (16 points) of Mills nearly outscored the Bears by themselves. Menlo-Atherton, however, trailed by only 27-23 heading into the third quarter before Mills hit three consecutive treys. Mills finished off an 11-0 run with 5:20 left in the period and M-A suddenly trailed, 38-23. Mills made seven of 10 shots in the quarter.
The Bears shot a respectable 45 percent from the field (14 for 31) but made 10 fewer field goals while the Vikings helped their cause by making eight of 17 three-pointers. Reed Foster scored 11 points to lead Menlo-Atherton, which got nine points each from Jeff Keller and Michael Culhane.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Gunn's lack of offensive firepower showed up in a 49-39 loss to visiting Los Gatos (2-0, 13-1) on Wednesday night. The Titans (1-2, 8-7) managed just 16 points in the first half while no Gunn player scored more than seven points. The Titans will visit rival Palo Alto on Friday night to finish off a quad at 7:45 p.m.