The Sacred Heart Prep boys' soccer team needed a little help, but the Gators nonetheless regained sole possession of first place in the West Bay Athletic League with a 7-1 victory over host Harker on Friday.
Andrew Segre scored four times and added an assist to pace the Gators (10-0-2, 13-2-3). The victory, coupled with Menlo's loss to Eastside Prep, clinched no worse than a tie for the league title for the Gators. SHP can win the title outright by beating or tying Menlo (9-2-2) on Wednesday.
Brendan Spillane had a goal and one assist for SHP while Will Mishra provided one goal and two assists. Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo already have locked up Central Coast Section playoff berths.
In Atherton, host Menlo saw its title hopes in the WBAL all but disappear in a 2-0 loss to visiting Eastside Prep. The Knights (9-2-2, 12-4-3) now trail first-place Sacred Heart Prep by three points. Menlo has one match remaining, at SHP on Wednesday, while the Gators have two. In order for the Knights to earn a share of the league title, SHP must lose its final two matches.
Menlo fell behind early and was never able to regain control of the game against third-place Eastside Prep (7-5). Junior John Strong had Menlo's best chance of the half, beating his defender down the left wing and firing a good shot that went just over the Panthers' goal.
Menlo came out with more aggressiveness in the second half, but was unable to find the goal needed to get them back in the game despite a few good chances off corner kicks. Eastside Prep always looked dangerous on the counter attack and saw out the game rather comfortably.
In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Palo Alto's hopes for a possible title disappeared in a 3-2 loss to visiting Milpitas on Friday. In a very close game, Milpitas (7-2-2) scored the final goal with 6:00 remaining to leapfrog past the Vikings (7-2-1) in the standings.
Paly (12-5-2 overall) dropped out of sole possession of second place as it had a number of chances during the final few minutes but could not convert. Paly grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute on an unassisted goal by senior Chris Meredith. Milpitas equalized 23 minutes later. The Vikings grabbed a 2-1 lead in the 30th minute on an unassisted goal by Cina Vazir. In the second half, the Trojans scored in the fourth minute and again 30 minutes later.
Palo Alto ran its unbeaten streak to 13 by rolling to a 3-1 victory over host Milpitas in SCVAL El Camino Division action Friday. The division-champion Vikings improved to 10-0-1 in league (12-4-2 overall) with one regular-season match remaining.
Megan Tall made it a 1-0 match after taking a pass from Aoi Sugihara, chipping a shot over the onrushing keeper. Things tightened up for a while after that, both defenses holding their own. For Paly, it was primarily Katherine Maniscalco and Julia Kwasnick thwarting the Milpitas drives. With only one minute remaining in the half, Paly's Sunny Lyu lit up the crowd with a bicycle kick. It would have made a great 2-0 lead, but the shot hit the crossbar and bounced up and over.
Three minutes into the second half it was Sugihara generating opportunities again. This time with a knee-high pass into the box for Lyu, who launched a one-touch bullet on-the-fly that went passed the Milpitas goalie before she could even react for a 2-0 lead. Five minutes later, Tall timed a nice pass to the sprinting Jess Branson who fired off a hard shot that the goalie got a piece of, but not enough to stop it from rolling in for a 3-0 lead.
In the PAL Bay Division, host Menlo-Atherton got a second-half goal from sophomore Annie Harrier (Dana Gornick assisted) to tie Aragon, 1-1. The Bears (6-4-2, 8-6-4) moved into a tie for third place with two league games remaining.