Christmas has come early for the Palo Alto girls soccer team, which has presented itself with a 5-0 record heading into 2015 following an 8-0 nonleague romp over visiting South San Francisco on Saturday.
The match marked the final one of 2014 for the Vikings, who have allowed just one goal in the five matches while scoring 19. Junior Jacey Pederson has been responsible for eight of those goals after she tallied a season-high four against the Warriors.
In the 30th minute of the first half, Pederson ran at the South San Francisco defense and scored unassisted for the first of her four goals. Four minutes later, Pederson was held in the box and then converted the resulting penalty kick.
Two minutes into the second half, Natalie Maloney scored off an interception from the top of the penalty arc. Then, 10 minutes later, Pederson once again ran at and by the defense and put the ball in at the far post.
In the 56th minute, South San Francisco turned a corner kick from Aoi Sugihara into their own net. Pederson finished her day in the 60th minute with another goal off a headed flick from Emily Tomz on a long throw-in from Talia Malchin.
In the 67 minute, Ansley Queen sent Nika Woodfill through and Woodfill scored. Sugihara finished the scoring after collecting a poor SSF clearance, turning and shooting into the upper near corner of the goal to put the finishing touches on 2014.
Palo Alto will be back in action on Jan. 3 with a nonleague match at Gunn before opening SCVAL De Anza Division play on Jan. 8 at Los Altos.
At the Burlingame Tournament, Menlo-Atherton bounced back from a loss to Sacred Heart Prep earlier in the week and drubbed Priory, 5-0, in a second-round match at San Mateo High.
Priory (0-2) had only 12 active players for the game and was no match for the Bears (2-1-1), who out-shot the Panthers by 17-1 in the first half on the way to a 4-0 halftime lead.
M-A got on the board in the 13th minute when a lob from senior Sasha Geonzon found the head of sophomore Katie Guenin for the first goal. In the 25th minute, junior Sarah McLeod slipped a ball to sophomore Nicole Salz, who took it down the right flank and scored.
Junior Kelsey Reed put M-A up 3-0 when she converted a free kick from outside the box in the 30th minute. Salz added a second goal just before the half on a feed from junior Julia Moreton.
In the second half, the Bears were content to knock the ball around and keep possession for much of the half. The Panthers managed to get off more of an attack, coming mainly from a pair of sophomores -- with two shots each from Alicia Talancon and Brenda Uribe.
The only goal of the half came from Bears freshman Josephine Cotto on an assist from McLeod to put the Bears up by the final score of 5-0.
M-A next takes on Christopher High in the final game of the Burlingame Tournament on Saturday at Burlingame High. Priory will face host Burlingame on Wednesday.
Also in the Burlingame tourney, Audrey Shenk scored off an assist from fellow sophomore McKenna Angotti in the 45th minute of the second half to carry Sacred Heart Prep to a 1-0 victory over Saratoga. The Gators improved to 3-2.
Palo Alto saw its unbeaten season come to an end in a 58-49 loss to host Piedmont Hills in the Friborg/Miailovich Invitational on Saturday in San Jose.
The Viking s (4-1) shot only 25 percent (5 for 20) from three-point range and converted only five free throws (in eight attempts). Senior Johnny Rojahn led Paly with 12 points Miles Tention, Kevin Mullin and Max Dorward all adding eight. The Pirates blew the game up with a 25-point second quarter to grab a 35-23 halftime lead.
Mullin as held without a 3-pointer after he made three during a 30-point outburst in a 65-62 overtime win over Santa Clara on Friday.
With sophomore Skyler Burris scoring 12 points, Palo Alto rolled to a 59-30 victory over Lincoln in the championship game of the Tamalpais Lady Hawk Tournament on Saturday night in rain-drenched Mill Valley.
Junior Alexis Harris added 10 points and sophomore Lauren Koyama finished with nine. Both were named to the All-Tournament Team while Burris was named the Most Valuable Player.
Earlier in the day, Palo Alto (6-1) posted a 52-29 win over Petaluma. The doubleheader was necessary after Thursday's opening round was postponed due to the heavy rain storm. Paly knocked off Urban, 55-41, on Friday.
"This was a team effort and everyone contributed to the championship," said Paly coach Scott Peters. "All nine players are contributing in the games to give us a balanced attack."
Peters acknowledged the efforts of Coco Lovely on defense along with Maddy Atwater plus Koyama, Harris and Burris on offense.
In Los Altos Hills, junior Chloe Eackles tallied a game-high 19 points with 11 rebounds and four assists to pace Pinewood to a 77-54 romp over Valley Christian in the round-robin Pinewood Classic.
Monique McDevitt added 12 points and freshman Stella Kailahi finished with 10 while Akayla Hackson and Nia Craig each pulled down 10 rebounds for the Panthers (5-1), who grabbed 48 as a team.
Pinewood will close out 2014 by taking on Sacred Heart Cathedral in the Presentation Shootout on Saturday in San Jose.
At the King's Academy Invitational, Sacred Heart Prep saw its unbeaten season come to an end in a 48-40 loss to King's Academy in the championship game. Riley Hemm led the Gators (5-1) with 22 points. The Knights grabbed a 28-14 halftime lead before the Gators rallied in the second half.
In the third-place game, Castilleja defeated Alvarez of Salinas, 48-23. Ellie Chen had 10 points and three assists in the first half, which saw Castilleja take a 24-15 lead. Paige Vermeer tallied 13 second-half points as the Gators went up by 20 in the third period and never were threatened.
Vermeer and Chen both hit a trio of threes, Vermeer finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds and four steals while Chen totaled 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. Cate Alder added seven points for the Gators (4-2), who head into final exams before hosting Mills this Friday night.
At the Paris Twins Classic at Piedmont High in Oakland, Eastside Prep (7-1) finished off a three-game sweep with a 55-40 victory over Piedmont. Senior Destiny Graham had 14 points against Piedmont and 52 for the tourney, in addition to dominating the boards, and was named the Most Valuable Player.
Brije Byers tossed in 22 points and finished with 68 points for the three games -- including 31 in an opening-round win over Justin Siena. She earned all-tourney honors along with freshman Kayla Tafaafe.
With senior Dmitriy Timokhin scoring three goals, Gunn rolled to a 6-1 victory over Lincoln in the Homestead Christmas Cup on Saturday at Homestead High. Senior Sean MacPherson added two goals with sophomore Aditya Ganapathi providing one goal and one assist as the Titans improved to 3-1-1.
Gunn opened its season by defeating Salinas, Pioneer and Serra in the annual Gunn Quad on Saturday.
The Titans needed all they could muster to overcome an inspired Serra team in the final dual, 39-36. Gunn benefited from a scoring error that allowed Gunn's final wrestler to return to the mat after he thought he had lost.
With the meet tied at 36, Gunn's 138-pound senior Shelby Oyung came through with a clutch 9-7 sudden-victory overtime win to defeat his opponent and get the win.
In addition, three Gunn wrestlers turned in undefeated performances for the weekend: sophomore David Abramovitch (126) and seniors Ian Cramer (152) and Alex Yu (160). Gunn also defeated Salinas, 60-21, and Pioneer, 39-28.