Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - January 24, 2014

Gators continue to roll

SHP boys improve to 5-0 and maintain their lead in the WBAL race

by Keith Peters

The Sacred Heart Prep boys soccer team has won five straight West Bay Athletic League titles. Right now, the Gators are well on their way to a possible sixth straight crown.

Sacred Heart Prep maintained its hold on first place in the WBAL race with a 6-1 win over visiting Eastside Prep on Wednesday.

The Gators (5-0, 6-4-1) actually had to rally from a 1-0 deficit, but did so quickly as Ricky Grau, Andrew Segre and Frankie Hattler all scored in the first half, with Will Mishra providing two assists and Segre one.

Grau, Sebi Surraco and Isaac Polkinhorne provided goals in the second half, with Segre assisting on Grau's goal as the Gators won their fifth straight after opening the season 1-4-1.

In San Jose, Menlo School remained in second place with a 2-0 victory over host Harker.

The Knights (3-1-1, 5-3-2) were quickly ahead after a mistake from the Eagles' goalkeeper led to a tap-in goal from sophomore forward Will Chisholm within the first minute of play, his fifth league goal of the season.

The Knights drew confidence from their early lead and continued to threaten the Harker goal, with senior captain John Strong and junior midfielder Jackson Wagner both forcing good saves from the keeper. Harker created a few chances as the half wore on but Menlo junior goalie Alex Moore was up to the task, securing his third league shutout with a commanding display.

Menlo pressured Harker repeatedly in the second half, looking for a second goal and the Knights were justly rewarded when junior midfielder Peter Rosston recovered a loose ball in front of the Eagles' box and fired a dipping shot into the top corner of the Harker goal with under 10 minutes to play.

In Los Altos Hills, host Pinewood fell to King's Academy, 4-1, while the Priory at Crystal Springs match was not reported.

In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton rallied from a one-goal deficit at halftime and earned a 2-2 deadlock with host Burlingame.

Jorge Lopez provided the Bears' first goal on an assist from Mario Rodriguez. The two hooked up again in similar fashion in the second half with Lopez getting his second goal as the Bears moved to 3-1-1 in league (6-2-1 overall).

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto stretched its winless streak to four matches following a 2-0 loss to host Fremont. The Vikings (1-2-2, 5-5-3) could not convert more than 10 shots on goal in the first half, including three one-on-ones with the Fremont keeper.

Fremont scored off a corner kick with just minutes left in the first half. The second half continued with Paly having several scoring opportunities. A second Fremont goal was scored on a single player counter attack, taking on two defenders and hitting a deflected shot past the Paly keeper.

In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn got its first league win of the season as senior midfielder Elyas Daadi scored twice in a 3-1 victory over visiting Monta Vista. The Titans (1-3-1, 4-6-2) got assists from Brenton Atwood and Luis Hernandez on the first two goals before junior midfielder Julian Buchel added a final tally with Daadi assisting.

Girls soccer

Palo Alto remained unbeaten in its ninth straight match following a 4-0 victory over visiting Homestead in SCVAL De Anza Division action Wednesday. The Vikings improved to 3-0-2 in league (6-2-3 overall) and haven't lost since Dec. 5.

Julia Kwasnick provided the eventual winning goal off a corner kick by Aoi Sugihara with 23 minutes gone in the first half. The Vikings (3-0-2, 6-2-3) put the match out of reach in the second half with three quick goals. Tess Preisling made it 2-0 with Sunny Lyu assisting, Megan Tall pushed the lead to 3-0 as Alison Lu assisted and Jacey Pederson wrapped up the scoring on another assist by Lyu. Sarah Lim and Megan Valencia shared keeper duties while sharing the shutout.

In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn dropped a 2-1 decision to host Santa Clara. The Titans (2-2-1, 5-3-2) fell behind by 2-0 at the half before rallying in the second half on a goal by Ming-Ming Liu, assisted by Caroline Anderson. Gunn, however, wasn't able to get the equalizer as its brief two-game win streak came to an end.

In the WBAL Foothill Division, senior forward Chandler Wickers scored three goals to lead host Menlo School to a 5-0 victory over Priory ion Tuesday. The win was the fourth consecutive WBAL victory for the Knights, who have outscored the opposition by 23-0 in the past four matches.

Wickers tallied her first goal in the opening 10 minutes on an accurate shot from 10 yards out off an assist from senior Sienna Stritter. Wickers' next goal came from close range off a cross from junior Jamie Corley in the 32nd minute. Junior Alexandra Walker pushed the halftime lead to 3-0 with a 23-yard unassisted shot.

Wickers' third goal was unassisted from 15 yards out in the fifth minute of the second half. Then Stritter beat two defenders on the dribble and scored from 12 yards out in the 20th minute. Sophomore keeper Schuyler Tilney-Volk had 10 saves, including a couple of exceptional stops, to earn her fourth consecutive shutout.

Also in Atherton, host Sacred Heart Prep remained three points behind Menlo following a 4-0 win over Notre Dame-San Jose. The Gators (3-0-1, 9-1-2) have played one less game.

Sophomore Carey Bradley provided the eventual winning goal in the eighth minute off an assist from senior Alex Bourdillon, who later scored in the 21st and 65th minutes with assists from Cameron Gordon and Tierna Davidson, respectively. Freshman Katie Harrison scored in the 50th minute (unassisted) to make it 3-0.

At the Mayfield Soccer Complex, Castilleja dropped a 2-1 decision to visiting King's Academy. Anais Sarrazin scored the tying goal for the Gators (1-3, 3-6) with an assist from Victoria Pu before the Knights got the winner.

In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton suffered its first defeat of the season to host Carlmont, 2-0. The Scots stunned the Bears (3-1-1, 7-1-3) early in the game when a free kick awarded to Carlmont made its way into the box and found the head of an ongoing forward who headed it over the keeper's head into the goal in the fourth minute of the game. Despite out-shooting the Scots, 6-2, in the first half, the Bears could not find the net.

In the second half, it was a very physical battle and both sides only managed about three shots the remainder of the game. Carlmont got on the board a second time about 15 minutes into the half when a cross from the right forward deflected off an M-A defender and into the goal past the outstretched arms of the keeper.

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