Tough roads ahead for local CCS soccer qualifying teams

The roads to Central Coast Section championship matches are indeed bumpy for seven local teams that earned seeds on Saturday and begin play next week. There is no expressway to the finals for anyone.

Two girls teams -- Palo Alto and Menlo School -- received high seeds and first-round byes into next Saturday's quarterfinals.

Menlo (15-3-2) received the No. 1 seed in Division III. The Knights will face either No. 9 Terra Nova (17-1) or No. 8 Santa Cruz (11-8) next weekend. The Knights captured their third straight West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) crown this season.

Also in Menlo's bracket is King's Academy, the defending CCS Division champion, and Harbor, which eliminated the Knights in the semifinals last season.

Paly (10-4-5) received the No. 2 seed in Division I after finishing fourth in the highly competitive SCVAL De Anza Division. The Vikings will face either No. 10 Alisal (13-4-1) or No. 7 Evergreen Valley (15-3-2). Also in Paly's bracket is No. 3 Los Gatos, which battled the Vikings to a tie in their last meeting.

Also receiving seeds for the girls were Menlo-Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep and Priory.

The Bears (10-5-5) are the No. 9 seed in Division I and will visit No. 8 Santa Teresa (9-6-5) on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The winner gets No. 1 Mountain View (10-2-6) in the quarterfinals.

SHP (16-2-2) is the No. 6 seed in Division III and will be the first to play, hosting No. 11 Pacific Collegiate (8-4-4) on Tuesday at 3 p.m. The winner gets No. 3 Burlingame (12-3-5).

Priory (7-9-1) is the No. 12 seed in Division III and will host No. 5 Harbor (10-4-4) on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Priory-Harbor winner gets the winner of No. 13 King's Academy (9-10) and No. 4 Santa Catalina (15-1-2).

Two boys teams -- Menlo-Atherton and Sacred Heart Prep -- open Wednesday.

The Gators (14-5-1) cruised to a 13-1 first-place record in the WBAL, but because the league is rated a 'C', coach Armando del Rio's squad received only a No. 10 seed -- despite sharing the CCS Division III title last season. SHP will host No. 7 Scotts Valley (11-3-4) at 3 p.m.

Should the Gators advance, they'll face No. 2 Soledad (18-0-2) on Saturday. Half Moon Bay (14-5-1) is the No. 1 seed. Also in SHP's side of the bracket is No. 2 Burlingame (13-4-3) from the very competitive PAL Bay Division.

Menlo-Atherton (11-5-2) received the No. 7 seed in Division I and will host No. 10 Santa Clara (9-4-7) at 6 p.m. The winner must face No. 2 Bellarmine (16-3-4) in the quarterfinals. Alisal is the No. 1 seed.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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