It's time for SHP girls to wrap up a soccer title

Sacred Heart boys already have clinched WBAL title, but second place is still up for grabs

The Sacred Heart Prep boys' soccer team wrapped up its West Bay Athletic League title last week, now it's the girls' turn to help make a little school history.

Should the SHP girls win twice this week to win their second straight WBAL (Foothill Division) crown, it will the first time in school history that boys and girls have won back-to-back league titles together.

The SHP girls won their first-ever league title last season and should claim No. 2 by Thursday. It's just not official. The Gators (6-1-1, 11-4-3) have 19 points, just a two-point bulge over second-place Priory (5-1-2, 7-5-6).

Sacred Heart Prep plays host to Mercy-Burlingame on Tuesday at 3 p.m., with a victory giving the Gators 22 points. Should Priory defeat visiting Notre Dame-San Jose at the same time, the Panthers will remain just two points back heading into Thursday's season finales.

Sacred Heart Prep will face Castilleja at Mayfield Soccer Complex (3 p.m.) while Priory hosts Mercy-Burlingame. Should SHP suffer a tie in either match, Priory will earn a co-championship with a pair of wins.

Sacred Heart Prep will have junior Abby Dahlkemper back from her stint with the U.S. Under-17 National Teame, which has been training in Sunrise, Fla., and played three exhibition matches against a U-17 team from Germany. Dahlkemper was a starter at center back for Team USA.

Meanwhile, third-place Menlo (4-1-3, 10-2-4) is out of the running for a league title, but still is battling for second place and an automatic berth into the Central Coast Section playoffs. The Knights host Castilleja on Tuesday and Notre Dame-San Jose on Thursday.

The Foothill Division's third-place team will have to face the Skyline Division champion in a playoff to decide the league's third entry into the postseason.

Castilleja (3-4-1, 8-5-1) tuned up for its big week as a possible spoiler by holding off King's Academy (Skyline Division), 1-0, in a nonleague makeup match on Monday at the Mayfield Soccer Complex.

In the 24th minute, Emily Colin received a throw-in from fellow senior Amy Toig just outside the penalty box. Colvin turned and lofted a perfect shot just over the keeper's fingers for the winning goal. King's Academy had one great opportunity to tie, but a shot hit the post before being cleared by the Gators' stellar defense.

The WBAL boys wrap up their regular season this week, as well, with Sacred Heart Prep (12-0, 14-3) taking aim at a perfect season in league play. The Gators will host King's Academy (4-4-3) on Tuesday before visiting dangerous Harker (5-5-2) on Thursday.

In a makeup match on Monday, Eastside Prep (5-4-2, 5-5-1) upset second-place Priory (6-4-2, 6-6-2) in a 1-0 showdown in Portola Valley. The goal was scored by Javier Magana off an assist by Jesus Magana in the 63rd minute.

"Our stopper, Gustavo Jimenez, played a great game helping to shut down their offensive threat," said Eastside Prep coach Greg Jellin.

The loss dropped Priory into a second-place tie with Menlo (6-4-2, 8-7-2). The Knights host Eastside Prep on Wednesday and last-place Pinewood on Friday, with victories wrapping up a CCS berth.

The SCVAL De Anza Division boys' soccer race, meanwhile, it still wide open with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Los Gatos (5-2-2, 10-5-2) has taken over first place with 17 points while Gunn (5-3-1, 6-8-2) and Mountain View (5-3-1, 10-4-3) are tied for second with 16 points. Palo Alto (4-2-2, 7-4-5) is next with 14. The top three teams have three matches remaining while Palo Alto has four.

The Vikings can really tighten things by beaing host Los Gatos on Tuesday. Gunn, meanwhile, plays host to last-place Monta Vista with a great opportunity to move back into no worse than a tie for first -- should Paly pull off a victory.

Gunn visits Los Gatos in its final match while Paly visits Mountain View next Tuesday. The league race could go down to the final match on Feb. 18.

Boys' water polo

Menlo-Atherton head coach Johnny Bega will take over the coaching duties at Los Altos next fall. He'll replace veteran Ed Samuels, who is stepping down for family reasons.

Bega and Samuels have worked together coaching club teams during the summer. Samuels reportedly will be able to assist Bega when time permits.

In his five years at Menlo-Atherton, Bega went 89-58 and captured the the 2007 CCS Division I title by beating Palo Alto. He also lost in the finals twice (2006, '08) and fell in the semifinals once (2005).

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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