The Palo Alto boys soccer team has had a thorn in its side for a number of years, and that annoyance was Mountain View.
Entering this SCVAL De Anza Division season, the Vikings had been winless against the Spartans in six straight matches.
That streak of futility, however, came to an end Tuesday as Palo Alto scored a first-half goal and made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the host Spartans.
The Vikings' first win over Mountain View since Jan. 21, 2010 kept them tied for first place and set up Thursday's showdown with visiting co-leader Homestead at 3:30 p.m. The Mustangs (4-0, 8-1) beat Los Gatos on Tuesday, 2-0.
Paly (4-0, 8-1-2) picked up a first-half goal from junior Michel Siaba and put up a solid defensive effort throughout to finally defeat the Spartans.
It was a tough, well-played contest against last year's division champ, with the Vikings coming out and pushed hard during the first half. After two near-miss goals by Paly junior Ari Momoney, the Vikings finally converted on a set piece just outside the right corner of the box after Siaba was fouled.
Wesley Woo made a nice cross into the goal mouth and Siaba out finessed the Spartans' defender and headed the ball into the upper left corner.
Mountain View started attacking quickly in the second half and put Paly on the defensive. Paly's offensive attack came mainly from counter-attacks. Paly still created a few opportunities as Mt. View pushed upfield attempting to equalize the score. This included a shot by Woo that deflected off the right post that would have certainly taken the pressure off Paly's defense in the final 10 minutes.
Paly keepers Alex Bomoni, followed by Eli Friedlander, combined for the shutout. Left back Steve Blatman, along with center backs Preston Kuppe and Rueben Kramer had outstanding defensive games to help drop the Spartans to 1-2-1 in league and 5-4-2 overall.
In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn remained in first place following a 3-2 win over host Wilcox. The Titans (4-0, 7-4-1) got two goals from Sean MacPherson, assisted by Dmitriy Timokhin and Luis Jauregui. Fellow senior Joffy Fryett provided the game-winner off an assist from junior Cristobal Gonzalez.