Seven local soccer teams are headed into CCS playoffs


Seven local teams, including two champions and one co-champ, will continue their seasons next week in the Central Coast Section soccer playoffs. Winning a title, however, didn't automatically mean a top seed.

The Sacred Heart Prep boys (16-0-4), for example, received the No. 4 seed in the Division III playoffs despite defending their title in the West Bay Athletic League.

The Menlo School girls (13-4-2) won their first-ever WBAL Foothill Division crown but also were seeded only No. 4 in the Division III tournament.

The Menlo-Atherton boys (15-0-5), who shared the PAL Bay Division title with San Mateo, was the only local team to earn a No. 1 seed -- getting it in Division I.

For all three squads, those seedings earned them first-round byes. All will open in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Sacred Heart Prep will play the winner between No. 5 North Monterey County (17-2-1) and No. 12 Carmel (7-7-3). That winner likely will face No. 1 seed Santa Cruz (10-5-3) in the semifinals.

The Menlo School girls will play the winner of No. 12 Castilleja (6-10-2) and No. 5 Soquel (11-4-5), who will play Wednesday in a first-round match at Soquel at 7 p.m.

Castilleja had to win a playoff match on Thursday to earn the No. 4 berth out of the WBAL, supposedly eliminating Crystal Springs in the process. Despite losing to Castilleja in the playoff, 7-1, Crystal Springs (18-1-2) not only got into the bracket, but got a higher seed (No. 8) than the Gators -- thus making the playoff game a useless exercise.

Also in Division III, WBAL runner-up Priory (12-5-2) received the No. 7 seed and will host No. 10 Pacific Collegiate (11-4) on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

WBAL third-place team Sacred Heart Prep (10-5-5), the three-time defending WBAL champ, was given the No. 11 seed and will open at No. 6 Harbor (9-5-4) on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Menlo-Atherton boys, meanwhile, get a bye into Saturday's quarterfinals and will play either No. 9 Carlmont (8-8-4) or No. 8 Santa Teresa (17-3). The Bears already have beaten the Scots twice this season in PAL Bay Division action.

M-A could meet No. 4 Serra (14-3-4) in the semifinals.

The Menlo-Atherton girls, who finished third in the PAL Bay Division, earned their first CCS berth since 2005 and will take an 11-5-4 record and No. 9 seed into first-round action Wednesday at No. 8 Watsonville (12-6-2) at 6 p.m.



Division I

First round

Wednesday's matches

No. 11 Salinas (13-4-3) at No. 6 Lincoln (13-2-4), 2:30 p.m.

No. 10 Oak Grove (13-6-1) at No. 7 Los Gatos (12-2-5), 2:30 p.m.

No. 12 Sequoia (9-7-4) at No. 5 Alisal (17-0-3), 6 p.m.

No. 9 Carlmont (8-8-4) at No. 8 Santa Teresa (17-3), 2:30 p.m.


Saturday, Feb. 25 (times TBA)

Salinas-Lincoln winner vs. No. 3 Watsonville (15-1-2)

Oak Grove-Los Gatos winner at No. 2 Mountain View (14-4-2)

Sequoia-Alisal winner vs. No. 4 Serra (14-3-4)

Carlmont-Santa Teresa winner vs. No. 1 Menlo-Atherton (15-0-5)

Division III

First round

Wednesday's matches

No. 11 R.L. Stevenson (9-7) vs. No. 6 Harbor (10-5-4) at Soquel High, 5 p.m.

No. 10 King's Academy (13-5-1) at No. 7 Scotts Valley (10-5-4), 2:30 p.m.

No. 12 Carmel (7-7-3) at No. 5 N. Monterey County (17-2-1), 2:30 p.m.

No. 9 Del Mar (10-6-2) at No. 8 Soledad (11-3-1), 6 p.m.


Saturday, Feb. 25 (times TBA)

RL Stevenson-Harbor winner vs. No. 3 Sacred Heart Cathedral (11-6-4)

King's Academy-Scotts Valley winner vs. No. 2 Burlingame (10-7-3)

Carmel-N. Monterey Co. winner vs. No. 4 Sacred Heart Prep (16-0-4)

Del Mar-Soledad winner vs. No. 1 Santa Cruz (10-5-3)


Division I

First round

Tuesday's matches

No. 11 Salinas (11-21-5) at No. 6 Santa Teresa (13-4-3), 2:30 p.m.

No. 5 Monta Vista (10-4-6) at No. 12 Lincoln (15-4-1), 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday's matches

No. 9 Menlo-Atherton (11-5-4) at No. 8 Watsonville (12-6-2), 6 p.m.

No. 10 Woodside (9-5-6) at No. 7 Homestead (14-1-3), 2:30 p.m.


Saturday's matches (times TBA)

Salinas-Santa Teresa winner vs. No. 3 Mountain View (14-2-3)

Woodside-Homestead winner vs. No. 2 St. Francis (13-2-3)

Lincoln-Monta Vista winner vs. No. 4 Carlmont (12-3-5)

Menlo-Atherton/Watsonville winner vs. No. 1 Los Gatos (16-1-2)

B Division III==

First round

Wednesday's matches

No. 11 Sacred Heart Prep (10-5-5) vs. No. 6 Harbor (9-5-4) at Depot Field, 2:30 p.m.

No. 10 Pacific Collegiate (11-4) at No. 7 Priory (12-5-2), 2:30 p.m.

No. 12 Castilleja (6-10-2) at No. 5 Soquel (11-4-5), 7 p.m.

No. 9 Pacific Grove (14-2-5) at No. 8 Crystal Springs (18-1-2), 2:30 p.m.


Saturday, Feb. 25 (times TBA)

Sacred Heart Prep-Harbor winner vs. No. 3 R.L. Stevenson (16-1-3)

Pacific Collegiate-Priory winner vs. No. 2 Santa Cruz (12-4-3)

Castilleja-Soquel winner vs. No. 4 Menlo School (13-4-2)

Pacific Grove-Crystal Springs winner vs. No. 1 Scotts Valley (12-4-4)

— Palo Alto Online Sports


Like this comment
Posted by Where's Jeremy
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

What - no Paly or Gunn boys or girls teams in CCS soccer? is that unprecedented??

Like this comment
Posted by paly parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Don't know if this is true, but parents have told me that the PALY boys coach makes it very hard for the boys to play club soccer and varsity - so the kids opt to play club. If that's true, he's probably got a pretty weak team.

Like this comment
Posted by Paly Mom
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:20 am

The Paly JV girls won their league, but the varsity teams did not fare well.

It is against CIF rules to compete in both club and high school at the same time, but the Paly coach was apparently unwilling to be flexible about boys competing in high level tournaments for their club team over Thanksgiving and Christmas break - i.e. wouldn't let those boys join the high school team after their tournaments were done. So they chose not to play high school.

Like this comment
Posted by paly parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:38 am

From what I understand, a lot of the college scouts go to the high level tournaments, so if you want to the chance play college soccer, it would seem like you have to play in them.

Like this comment
Posted by paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 22, 2012 at 7:20 am

"Offensive sells tickets, defense wins championships"...apparently Coach Donald Briggs is an offensive coach. The entire denfensive line gets no instruction and no recognition, this was clear the entire season. The defense and goalkeeper are the guys that kept Paly in each and every game this season. The coach clearly favors the offensive players, even giving the offensive players awards for literally flopping on the field to try and get a call. The forwards couldn't score on their own, half of the goals were pks.

It's hard for kids that love the sport to play for a coach who doesn't seem to share the enthusiasm. He has driven and is driving many of the of highly talented soccer players away. Hopefully the majority of the team decides to return to Paly soccer next year despite Coach Briggs.

Like this comment
Posted by shhh
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I watched many of the games this year. The defense is solid and in fact the goalkeeper {maharaj} is quite good. You are right, these boys are the ones that kept the Paly team in every game. Too bad offensive couldn't make it happen. Hope these boys will come back next high school season. It would be a shame if they walked away from high school soccer.

Like this comment
Posted by rather not say
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

From what I hear Briggs is not a very good coach. Shows a lot a favourtism and by his actions is a bit prejudice. Sad that Paly keeps him on as a soccer coach, especially since he is a PE teacher at Gunn. I hope that the school gets their act together and starts talking to the parents and kids. Kids don't want to say anything because they want to play for their high school each year.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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