M-A, SHP boys move closer to titles with different results


Menlo-Atherton remained one-point ahead of Burlingame in the PAL Bay Division boys' soccer race following an 8-0 romp over host El Camino on a rainy Friday afternoon.

With Jesus Ortega and Kyle Smith each tallying three goals, the Bears improved to 8-2 in league (24 points) and 11-3 overall. Burlingame is 7-1-2 (23 points) following a 3-2 win over third-place Sequoia (6-3-1, 19 points).

M-A has won six straight and has four matches remaining, with a crucial match with Burlingame set for Feb. 16 on the Bears' field.

In the West Bay Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep's march to a possible seventh straight title was delayed temporarily following a 2-2 deadlock with visiting Priory. The Gators moved to 7-0-2 in league (11-1-4) and still held on to first place while Priory went to 1-7-1 and 4-9-1.

"Definitely our best effort and result this season," said Priory coach Paul Moran. "We played very well, and needed maximum efforts to get the result. It was a good game. There were a few guys, in particular, who played exceptionally well -- Sergio Lopez, Bailey Marsheck, Alberto Coppola, and Ben Clock."

Priory rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit with Lopez scoring off an assist from Coppola. The players switched roles for the second goal. Eric Hausken scored both goals for SHP, with Philip Petrakian and John Desler provided assists.

"It's certainly a bad result and makes it much more difficult than it needs to be," SHP coach Armando Del Rio said of winning another title. "The rain on that field made a huge difference. There was standing water out wide, so we couldn't stretch them because of it."

Del Rio said there was a "lack of accountability and concentration after going up 2-0; we immediately conceded. We

didn't shoot enough. But most of all, today we were a collection of individuals rather than a team. Some were warriors as always, and a few were as soft as marshmallows."

Also in Atherton, Menlo School posted a 1-0 victory over visiting Eastside Prep to move to 6-2-1 in league and 8-5-2 overall. The Knights remained mathematically alive for the WBAL title with 19 points, trailing SHP by four. Menlo can finish with 28 points by winning its final three matches, while SHP can win the title outright by winning two of its final three.

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