It's a new season for the Palo Alto girls soccer team and the Vikings celebrated with a big 6-0 romp over visiting Evergreen Valley in nonleague action on Wednesday.
Palo Alto, which opened last season with two losses but advanced to the Central Coast Section semifinals, started out much better as Jacey Pederson tallied two goals with Katie Foug, Nika Woodfill, Talia Malchin and Tess Preising adding one each.
The Vikings will travel to Hollister on Saturday to face San Benito in a nonleague match at noon.
Earlier in the day, the Palo Alto boys battled to a 1-1 nonleague draw with visiting Menlo School.
The Vikings (1-0-1) grabbed an early lead when Wesly Wood made a through pass to Michel Siaba, who put it past the diving Menlo keeper, Alex Moore, with just two minute gone. Paly had numerous opportunities after that, but failed to finish.
Menlo responded well and tried to break down the Vikings' defense with its slick passing, but were often thwarted as the wet field made it hard to find the breakthrough in the final third.
In the dying minutes of injury time, the Knights finally found the breakthrough. As the pressure mounted on the Vikings' goal, Menlo junior midfielder Matt Joss got the ball at the top of the box after Palo Alto failed to clear a corner kick. His low, fizzing shot rung the post but freshman forward Dylan Williams was ready to slot home the rebound before being taken down. The referee bravely awarded a penalty kick, which junior striker Will Chisholm finished convincingly for his first goal of the season.
Paly defenders Declan Cassini, Matt Knowles, Derrick Schoenberger and Joey Beradi had solid games, according to Paly coach Don Briggs, to keep Menlo scoreless during regulation. Keepers Alex Bonomi and Eli Friedlander shared time in the cage for the Vikings.
Palo Alto will host St. Ignatius in the opening round of the Oak Grove Tournament on Saturday at 11 a.m. Menlo will visit SI for a scrimmage on Friday.
In other soccer action Wednesday, defending CCS Division III co-champ Sacred Heart Prep dropped a 3-1 nonleague decision to visiting Presentation to open the season.
Brije Byers poured in 25 points and fellow senior Destiny Graham added 18 points to power Eastside Prep to a 61-9 season-opening victory over visiting Burlingame on Wednesday night. The Panthers put the game away in the first quarter by grabbing a 16-1 lead. By halftime, it was 30-5 for the Panthers, who have just six players on their roster -- three seniors and three freshmen.
In Portola Valley, freshmen guard Tatiana Reese finished with 34 points and 15 rebounds in her varsity debut as host Priory romped to a 45-17 victory over Pacific Collegiate to open its season.
The CIF NorCal playoffs were rained out again Wednesday and rescheduled for Thursday at the Fremont Tennis Club. Top-seeded Menlo School is scheduled to face Miramonte in the semifinals, starting at 3 p.m. The finals are scheduled for 6 p.m.