by Keith Peters
Palo Alto Online Sports
The drama continues in the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) girls' soccer race following Priory's 4-0 upset of first-place Sacred Heart Prep on Tuesday in Portola Valley.
The somewhat shocking result prevented the Gators (6-1, 11-4-2) from moving closer to clinching its second-straight division crown while the Panthers (4-1-2, 6-5-6) remained mathematically alive in the chase for first along with Menlo.
Muddy, sloppy field condition nearly prevented the match from behind held, but Sacred Heart Prep coach Jake Moffat went ahead despite less-than- desirable conditions. When Priory took a 1-0 lead with about 14:50 left in the opening half on a goal by senior Massiel Castellanos, the pressure was on SHP.
Castellanos made the Gators' task more difficult when she scored again with 11:47 left in the first half after maneuvering around the defense and pounding a shot into the upper right corner of the net for a 2-0 halftime lead.
With 24 minutes left in the match, Priory put the match out of reach when Castellanos made a run down the left side and crossed it to sophomore Alyson Perna, who beat her defender to the ball and found the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.
With the match in injury time, Priory senior Adriana Cortez lofted a free kick from about 30 yards out and into the upper right corner of the net past a leaping SHP keeper Chris Sours, who tumbled into the cage with the ball as the Panthers grabbed an insurmountable 4-0 lead on the cloudy day.
In San Bruno, Menlo School remained in a tie for second place in the WBAL (Foothill Division) with a 4-1 victory over host Mercy-Burlingame at Skyline College in San Bruno on Tuesday. The Knights improved to 4-1-2 in league (10-2-3 overall) and have 14 points – tied with Priory and four points behind first-place Sacred Heart Prep.
Menlo's attack connected early and often with three goals in the game's first six minutes. Senior Katie Baum volleyed in a goal off a cross from senior Mila Sheeline in the third minute. The two exchanged roles in the fifth minute as Mila volleyed in a cross from Katie. Two minutes later, freshman Maya Norman volleyed in a third goal off an assist from senior Elitah Petty.
Baum scored her second goal at the 17-minute mark, following up a shot off the post by Sheeline off a cross from junior Kelly Cavan. Mercy' s goal came off a header by Alex Kaindl off a cross from Shelby Hughes at the 30-minute mark. In the second half there were no goals for either side as Menlo controlled possession throughout the half.
In Palo Alto, the battle for second place and an automatic berth into the Central Coast Section playoff rages on, and Castilleja remains in contention following a 4-1 victory over visiting Notre Dame-San Jose in a WBAL (Foothill Division) match Tuesday at the Mayfield Soccer Complex.
Castilleja (3-1-1, 7-4-1) got on the scoreboard first when sophomore Emily Mosbacher took a free kick that bounced around in the box before being cleared back to Mosbacher, who able to convert for a 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later, Notre Dame-San Jose tied the game on a beautifully placed free kick just out of the reach of Gators' keeper Allie May. In the 32nd minute, Mosbacher took a throw in from Martha Harding and placed it into the upper left corner from 28 yards to take a 2-1 lead into the half.
In the 55th minute, Mosbacher converted a free kick eight yards outside the penalty area for her third goal of the match and a 3-1 lead. With 10 minutes to play, Caitlin Colvin crossed from near the corner to Amy Toig, who settled the ball at the far post then passed it to Harding for the final goal.
The Gators remain in third place, four points behind second-place Priory and Menlo.
In a rematch of last season's CCS Division I championship match, host Palo Alto and defending section champ Monta Vista battled to a 1-1 draw in SCVAL De Anza Division action on Tuesday. The Matadors(5-1-2, 11-2-2) remained atop the division while the Vikings (3-3-1, 6-5-2) stayed in fourth place.
Monta Vista grabbed a 1-0 first-half lead on a nice feed from Cheryl Kute to Mimi Akaogi, who brought it back across the penalty spot and drilled a waist-high shot into the left side of the goal. Palo Alto got the equalizer in the second half (72nd minute) when senior Kelly Jenks controlled the ball in traffic and found senior Maeve Stewart, who took enough touches to force a commitment from the keeper and then chose the near side for her tying goal.
Also in the SCVAL De Anza Division, last-place Gunn (0-5-2, 2-8-3) tied host Homestead in a sloppy match on a sloppy, wet field.
In the PAL Bay Division, visiting Menlo-Atherton (4-4-1, 8-5-2) fell back in the race following a 5-1 loss to second-place Aragon on Tuesday.