Matheus Barbosa and Jose Castaneda each scored in the second half and the Menlo College men's soccer team clinched the Cal Pac Conference championship with a 2-0 victory over host Holy Names, the five-time defending conference champs, at Merritt College in Oakland on Thursday.
Junior goalkeeper Alex Palomarez recorded his fourth consecutive shutout and his sixth in seven games as the Oaks (10-0, 13-31) qualified for the NAIA National tournament, which gets underway at campus sites on Nov. 19.
The final 16 teams advance to the national site at Orange Beach SportsFlex in Orange Beach, Ala. The Hawks (8-2, 10-6) reached the quarterfinals of last year's national tournament before losing to eventual NAIA champion Hastings (Neb.).
Freshman midfielder Alex Kunkel started the sequence that ended in the game-winning goal. In the 55th minute, he sent a crossing pass to sophomore striker Dylan Crist, who found Barbosa for the only goal Menlo would need.
Casteneda scored an insurance goal several minutes later, just the second goal of the year for the freshman defender as Menlo extended its winning streak to 11 games, its longest in recent history.
Barbosa scored his team-high 10th goal of the season, breaking a tie with Sacred Heart Prep grad Alex Vukic, who has 18 points on his nine goals. Gunn High grad Sam Zipperstein leads the Oaks with 11 assists and he has 13 points overall.
Two years ago, Menlo finished with a 7-11 mark and was 8-7-3 last season in Tim Keller's first year as coach. The 13 wins are the most in a season since at least 2000.