Palo Alto coach Kurt Devlin achieved a couple of milestones and his girls soccer team remained perfect on the season with a 2-1 victory over host Los Altos on Thursday.
For Devlin, in his fourth season, it was his first victory over the Eagles and his first to open the SCVAL De Anza Division season.
More important, the Vikings improved to 7-0 overall and now have outscored the opposition 27-2.
Palo Alto got the winner in the 61st minute when the Vikings took a quick free kick junior Jacey Pederson wound up ripping a shot from about 30 yards out that found the back of the net as the Eagles fell to 0-2 (1-7 overall) with their seventh straight loss.
Palo Alto, however, fell behind in the second minute when
Emily Pye of Los Altos was pushing forward on a counter attack when she was fouled just outside the penalty area. Allie Crum put the free kick into the goal as a deflection by the wall had the keeper going the wrong way, giving Los Altos a 1-0 lead.
In the 28th minute, Paly's Talia Malchin lofted a pass over the midfield to Katie Foug, who chested the ball down and accelerated across the top of the penalty area from right to left. She then slipped a shot back across the goal past the diving keeper and into the goal at the right post to tie the match at 1.
After Pederson put Paly ahead for good, the Vikings withstood a final tying attempt by Los Altos. A free kick from about 25 yards out was punched away just before the final whistle by Paly backup keeper Sarah Lim.
In San Mateo, Menlo-Atherton bounced back from Tuesday's heartbreaking loss to Burlingame with a dominant 5-0 PAL Bay Division victory against an under-matched San Mateo squad as the Bears improved to 1-1 and 4-2-1 overall.
Menlo-Atherton took apart the Bearcats in the first half. After having two goals called back for offside penalties, the Bears finally figured it out and got on the board in the 13th minute when senior Amanda Wiseman controlled a ball from a throw-in and passed it back to junior Julia Moreton, who was able to one-touch the ball into the back post to put M-A up 1-0.
Ten minutes later, senior Annie Harrier dribbled the ball to the end line and then passed the ball back to junior Sarah McLeod, who put the ball away for a 2-0 lead. Just minutes later, Moreton took the ball down the left wing and crossed it to Harrier, who finished with a nice shot into the back post.
Only a couple of minutes later, Harrier was again involved in a goal when she passed the ball back across to waiting sophomore midfielder Margaret Child, who tapped the ball into the net for the Bears' third goal during a four-minute span. The final goal of the half came when sophomore Nicole Salz came down the right flank, dribbled to the end line and sent a ball back to junior Molly Briggs for an easy tap-in goal.
In the second half, the Bearcats' side was down to only nine healthy players. In a show of sportsmanship, M-A pulled two players to play 9-a-side for the remainder of the half. The Bears were content to play keep-away most of the half, but did fire off eight shots against the winless (0-2 and 0-5) Bearcats.
In Santa Clara, freshman Mia Shenk and sophomore Olivia Athens each tallied two goals during a 7-0 nonleague romp over host Wilcox. The Gators (5-2-1) grabbed a 4-0 halftime lead on goals by Shenk, Athens, sophomore Lindsay Johnson and junior Tierna Davidson. Johnson and Davidson scored just two minutes apart.
In the second half, Shenk got the first goal again before sophomore McKenna Angotti and Athens followed to wrap up the victory. Davidson assisted on all three second-half goals in addition to Shenk's first goal in the fourth minute. Athens added two assists.
In Los Altos Hills, Pinewood opened its West Bay Athletic League (Skyline Division) season with a 7-0 romp over an out-manned Eastside Prep squad. Pinewood (1-0, 4-4) grabbed a 4-0 halftime lead.
Olivia Biggs scored four goals, her first in the 14th minute (unassisted), her second a minute later, also unassisted. Her third came in the 23rd minute on an assist from Laine Corfield. Zarin Mohsenin scored in the 30th minute on an assist from Leah Hess to end the first half.
Biggs scored again in the 43rd minute on an assist from freshman Emma Doettling, then Corfield scored in the 51st minute on an assist from Nicole Saltzman. Doettling provided the final goal on an assist from Biggs.
In San Jose, Gunn fell to 3-3-1 overall following a 4-0 loss to host Lynbrook to open the SCVAL El Camino Division season.
Palo Alto opened its SCVAL De Anza Division season with a 1-0 victory over visiting Los Altos on Thursday. Paly junior Ariya Momoney provided the winning goal in the 30th minute of the first half, an unassisted effort.
This was an evenly played, fast-paced game with Paly having several opportunities, including six corner kicks in the first half. The Vikings (1-0, 5-1-2) had several chances inside the box, but either did not get the shot off or had the shot deflected by Los Altos keeper Chris Lytle.
Palo Alto finally broke through late in the first half when Momoney took a deflected head ball, beat a Los Altos defender and then, on a one-on-one, passed the ball past a diving Lytle.
Both teams came out strong in the second half. Paly had several near goals from close in while Los Altos had several long shots from 30 yards along with a direct kick just outside the box that tested Paly keepers Alex Bonomi and Eli Freidlander, who shared duties. Los Altos fell to 0-2 and 2-3-2.
The Paly defense had an excellent game and kept most shots from far outside the box. Standout defenders included Reuben Kramer, Preston Kupper, Steven Blatman and Declan Cassini.
In Palo Alto, senior forward Sean MacPherson scored a pair of goals to pace Gunn to a 4-0 victory over visiting Lynbrook to open the SCVAL El Camino Division season. Guy Kasznik and Dmitriy Timokhin added solo goals with Cristobal Gonzalez providing assists on those tallies as the Titans improved to 4-4-1 overall.