The stage is set for yet another chapter in the annual soccer rivalry between the Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo School boys, after both teams remained perfect in the West Bay Athletic League with shutouts on Friday.
The teams will meet in the first of two regular-season matches on Wednesday at Menlo at 2:45 p.m. Both bring in 2-0 league records.
Sacred Heart Prep is the five-time defending league champ and is 8-0-2 all-time against Menlo in league play since 2009. Prior to that, SHP played in the fall and Menlo in the Peninsula Athletic League.
While the Knights finished second to the Gators last season, they earned a bit of revenge by tying SHP in the Central Coast Section Division III title match in overtime.
The two local rivals look to battle for league honors again this season after registering impressive wins on Friday, both at home.
Senior Andrew Segre scored two goals to pace SHP to a 4-0 victory over visiting Crystal Springs. Segre provided the winning goal in the first half off an assist from junior Cam Chapman. Segre made it 2-0 in the second half as junior Eric Hausken provided the assist. Senior Isaac Polkinhorse and Will Mishra combined on the next two goals and assists with the two getting one each as the Gators improved to 3-4-1 overall.
Just down the street, Menlo (4-2-2) remained tied for first place with a 2-0 victory over visiting Eastside Prep.
"That was a very good team we played today and we can be proud of the result we achieved" said Menlo second-year head coach Marc Kerrest. "We worked extremely hard on both ends of the field. If we can continue to play with that kind of energy, belief and endeavor we have a chance to put together a very successful season."
The Panthers nearly scored in the first few minutes, floating a shot over the head of Menlo keeper Alex Moore. The shot, however, hit the post before Moore secured the carom.
The opening scare awoke the Knights and they proceeded to produce a few chances of their own. Senior captain John Strong and junior midfielder Peter Rosston each put sophomore striker Will Chisholm through on goal only for his runs to be thwarted by a combination of the Panthers' defense and their strong goalie.
The Knights sustained pressure ultimately led to consecutive corner kicks. On the second attempt, sophomore midfielder Matt Joss convincingly won his header at the back post only to be denied by an Eastside defender's hand on the line. The referee pointed to the penalty spot after some help from his linesman and senior captain Justin Wang stepped up, calmly beating the Panthers' goalie to put the Knights ahead.
The second half started much like the first ended with both teams creating chances in a fairly wide open contest. Chisholm helped extend the Menlo lead after beating a defender on the end line and drawing a clear foul in the box, which the referee had no choice but to give.
Wang was again up to the task, wrong-footing the Eastside goalie for his fourth goal of the season. The Panthers fought hard to get themselves back in the game, creating a few dangerous chances, but Menlo's back line of sophomores Andrew Arnold and Michael Quezada and seniors Wang and Travis Chambers helped Moore secure his second consecutive shutout and fourth in the past five games.
In Los Altos Hills, Priory opened its WBAL season with a 5-1 victory over host Pinewood. Sergio Lopez led the visiting Panthers (1-0, 3-2-1) with three goals with Austin Mirabella and Bailey Marshek adding one each. Alberto Coppola provided two assists with Alex Oberman adding one.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto and visiting Santa Clara played to a scoreless deadlock. It was a well-played game by both teams with each having several opportunities. Paly keeper Tony Maharaj made several nice saves in the goal and the defense led by outside backs Neal Biswah and Reuben Kramer along with inside backs Thomas Crouch and Preston Kuppe had nice games to maintain the shutout for the Vikings (1-0-1, 5-3-2).
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton remained unbeaten in league play with a 4-1 victory over visiting San Mateo. The Bears (2-0, 5-1) took a 2-0 lead into halftime following goals by Carlos and Kori Smith with assists from Efrain Garcia and Jorge Lopez. The second half saw two more goals by the Bears, from Lopez and Miguel Orellana with assists from Garcia and Lopez.
The Gunn at Cupertino match was not reported.
Palo Alto traveled to Monta Vista on Friday afternoon to face the Matadors in what on paper, looked like an easy game in the SCVAL De Anza Division. But, the Matadors, struggling with an 0-5-1 record, showed it's not all about the paper and put up a fight before falling to the Vikings, 2-1.
With four minutes remaining in the first half, after Paly had 10 shots on goal without a score, Monta Vista took a 1-0 lead with its first shot. But, that did motivate Palo Alto, which bounced right back on a pass from Jacey Pederson to Nika Woodfill with less than two minutes to tie it up at 1-1 going into the break.
The second half went much like the first, Palo Alto's defense staying strong, the offense with one barrage after another, but the Monta Vista goalie was catching everything coming her way.
At eight minutes in, Palo Alto earned a corner kick that made its way into the goalie box and just when Monta Vista seemed to escape another attack, Julia Kwasnick headed the ball into the crossbar and the bounce found the backside of the goal line for a 2-1 Palo Alto lead. That score would hold to the final whistle as Paly got the win -- needing 28 shots to get it.
In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn grabbed an early lead but let it slip away in a 2-1 loss to host Cupertino. The Titans (0-1-1, 2-2-2) moved ahead when Ming-Ming Liu scored off an assist by Natalie Perreault. The Pioneers tied it up before intermission and then got the winner after halftime.
In the WBAL Foothill Division, host Priory and Notre Dame-San Jose battled to a 2-2 deadlock.