Senior midfielder Emma LaPorte scored two goals in the first five minutes to lead host Menlo School to a 6-0 victory over Castilleja in West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) girls' soccer action on Thursday.
The Knights won three times during the week, outscoring foes by 18-0, to take sole possession of first place. Sacred Heart Prep (2-0-1) has played one less league match.
Laporte's first goal was unassisted when she beat two defenders on the dribble and shot low to the far corner. Her second came from 10 yards out off a nice pass from sophomore Zoe Enright. Later, senior Sienna Stritter connected from 12 yards out off a nice feed by senior Chandler Wickers. Senior Amanda McFarland connected in the 34th minute, unassisted, to push the halftime lead to 4-0.
Six minutes into the second half, Stritter got her second goal of the match (unassisted) on an accurate shot from eight yards out. Junior Jamie Corley tallied Menlo's final goal with a nice first time finish of an accurate Enright cross. Sophomore keeper Schuyler Tilney-Volk and her defense earned their third consecutive shutout.
Menlo's next match is Tuesday at home against Priory at 3:30 p.m.
Priory is coming off a 2-1 loss to host Pinewood, which last season won the WBAL Skyline Division title.
"We remembered them being mostly top-notch in the Foothill Division, always occupying one of the three top spots, so we were somewhat nervous to go out there and play them," said Pinewood coach Michael Tetzlaff. "But, this year, they seem to be a bit off their usual excellence, certainly no comparison to Menlo and/or Sacred Heart."
Priory took an early lead on a corner kick in the first half as Pinewood didn't have anyone watching the far post. Erin Simpson took the corner with Margaret Shields finishing.
In the 33rd minute, Pinewood (2-3, 3-10) scored on a corner kick from Nicole Colonna. Her kick went to Etelle Stephan's head from where it went towards Courtney Copriviza's right foot for a 1-1 tie.
In the second half, Pinewood started being more physical and made some promising runs toward Priory's goal -- at one point having a goal disallowed when a referee claimed the Priory keeper -- on the ground after a scramble in their goal mouth -- had possession of the ball when somebody kicked it out of her hands into the goal.
In the 75th minute, Pinewood got a free kick from the right-corner flag area. Etelle Stephan came up for a free header and scored for a 2-1 lead.
"Priory came out firing on all cylinders, but a big compliment to our defenders," Tetzlaff said. "Everybody felt that with five minutes remaining they had to somehow make the possible win happen. So, we defended as if our lives depended on it."
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton lost sole possession of first place following a 1-1 tie with visiting Burlingame on Thursday. The Bears remain undefeated at 3-0-1 in league play and 7-0-3 overall, but had the first goal against since a Dec. 10 victory against St. Ignatius.
M-A got on the board late in the first half when sophomore Kelsey Reed served a corner kick into the box that was finished by freshman Katie Guenin in the 32nd minute. The Bears outshot the Panthers, 7-3, in the first half.
In the second half, the Bears again managed seven shots against a very physical Panthers squad that proved very tenacious on defense. The Burlingame side did not actually manage a shot in the second half, but a miscue between the M-A keeper and a defender resulted in a deflection for the own goal to to put the Panthers on the board and force a tie.
Despite a furious attack in the remaining minutes of the half, the Bears could not convert and the game resulted in a tie.
In a record-breaking game for junior All-WBAL guard Paige Vermeer, Castilleja won its second straight WBAL Skyline Division contest with a 53-27 win at Mercy Burlingame on Thursday night.
Vermeer set a school record with 10 steals -- breaking the previous mark of nine that she and Ellie Chen held. Vermeer also moved to No. 3 on the school's all-time steals list, surpassing Lindsay Taylor ('08), who later starred at Stanford in soccer.
The Gators (2-0, 7-7) raced to a 28-10 halftime lead as Maddie Tarr swished a pair of 3-pointers and guards Vermeer and Chen drove past the defense of the Crusaders, who were missing two starters due to injury. Castilleja stretched the lead to 44-16 in the third quarter and won going away.
Chen and Vermeer scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, and both dished out five assists. Yasmeen Afifi tallied 10 points and Tarr finished with eight. The Gators will play El Camino on Monday in the Terra Nova MLK Tournament.