The day began with three teams tied for first place in the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) girls' soccer race. A few hours later, that number was down to two.
Sacred Heart Prep was chiefly responsible in the reduction of first-place teams as the Gators rallied for a 2-1 victory over visiting King's Academy on Tuesday.
Priory, meanwhile, remained tied for the division lead with SHP following a 6-0 romp over visiting Mercy-Burlingame.
Sacred Heart Prep and Priory have yet to face each other this season, even though the Gators hold a controversial forfeit win over the Panthers from the Palo Alto Winter Classic.
The first of two WBAL showdowns will take place next Thursday in Atherton at 2:45 p.m., with the rematch set for Saturday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. Sacred Heart Prep clinched last season's division title on the Panthers' field.
The Gators were in danger of falling out of the top spot when they gave up an early goal against King's Academy, but tied it up before halftime and won it after intermission to improve to 3-0 (5-2-4 overall).
King's grabbed a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute on a goal by Jordan Tuttle. The Gators battled back to tie in the 24h minute on an unassisted goal by Kendall Jager. With time running out, Jager scored in the 71st minute off an assist from Stephanie Terpening as the Gators knocked Kings' (1-1, 6-2-1) out of a share of first place.
Jager, who has scored seven goals in the past four matches, was marked in the first half but was overlooked in the second half as King's made some defensive adjustments.
Sacred Heart will continue a busy week by hosting Castilleja on Thursday (2:45 p.m.) and Menlo on Saturday (10 a.m.).
In Portola Valley, host Priory (4-0, 7-2-2) got two goals from senior Darrah Shields plus single goals from Eugenia Jernick, Laura Wu, Molly Simpson and Siobhan Gillis while taking care of Mercy-Burlingame.
The Panthers next will host King's Academy on Saturday at 11 a.m.
In Atherton, Menlo School remained within reach of the leaders in the WBAL Foothill Division with a 3-1 victory over visiting Castilleja. The Knights (2-1, 4-4-2) jumped in front early as sophomore Sienna Stritter connected from 18 yards out unassisted.
Castilleja (0-3, 1-7) equalized five minutes later when sophomore Gabby Kaplan scored off an assist from senior Emily Mosbacher.
Menlo regained the lead at 30 minutes as sophomore Chandler Wickers followed up a shot by Ellie Still and scored from close range. Then 15 minutes into the second half, Wickers headed in a cross from Lindsay Karle.
Menlo dominated possession and outshot Castilleja, 30-10. Menlo's backs -- senior Shannon Lacy, junior Hannah Rubin, sophomore Stritter, and freshmen Alex Walker -- played well by limiting Castilleja's attacking opportunities. Menlo goalies Julia Dressel (five saves) and Kelly McConnell (four saves) split time in goal as usual.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton made a solid statement to belonging among the best of the division by deadlocking co-leader Carlmont, 1-1, on Tuesday in Belmont. Jenn Kirst scored her 13th goal of the season on assist from Meryssa Thompson in the 21st minute for the Bears (2-2-1, 6-4-1) while Carlmont (4-0-1, 6-2-3) equalized it off corner around the 70th minute.