The Menlo School girls snapped a five-match losing streak to rival Sacred Heart Prep with a big 16-5 victory in West Bay Athletic League lacrosse action Tuesday.
The Knights had been swept by the Gators in three matches last year (all by one goal) and lost the final two showdowns in 2013 as the Gators won back-to-back WBAL regular-season and playoff titles while winning 38 matches.
This season is a different story, however, as SHP lost eight players to graduation plus leading scorer Libby Muir to a season-ending ACL injury prior to the start of the campaign. The Gators also were without sophomore Cameron Gordon on Tuesday as she suffered a concussion in Saturday's win over Burlingame. Thus, the Gators are 3-2 in league and 5-9 overall.
Menlo (4-0, 9-6) has too much firepower this season and remained alone in first place in the WBAL with the lopsided victory that was highlighted by a great defensive effort.
"The team defense is a huge part of our team this year," said Menlo coach Jen Lee. "Integrating all team members into the system has been a huge point of emphasis. And it pays off, when executed well!
The Knights grabbed a 6-0 lead before Emma Johnson scored for SHP and took a 13-2 advantage into halftime as junior Parvathi Narayan tallied four of her game-high five goals. Sophomore Sophia Donovan added three goals plus two assists with Indira Varma and Nikky Price adding two goals each.
Menlo held advantages in every statistical category, including shots-on-goal (23-8), draw controls (13-9) and contested ground balls (11-9).
In the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League, Palo Alto remained in first place with a 10-7 victory over host Saratoga. The Vikings improved to 8-0 in league and 12-1 overall.
In a hard-fought battle, Paly held a 6-4 lead at the end of the first half, during which junior goalkeeper Meredith Kinnaman had nine saves. Senior goalkeeper Megan Valencia had six saves in the second half.
Paly goals were made by Maya Benatar (3), Paige Bara (3), Allie Peery (2), Lauren Gargiulo (1) and Claire Chevallier (1).
Menlo School left its starting lineup at home, but it made no difference as the Knights still blanked host King's Academy, 7-0, at the Sunnyvale Tennis Center to remain undefeated in the West Bay Athletic League race.
Menlo improved to 11-0 in league (20-1 overall) and wrapped up its 21st straight league title, the 19th consecutive under coach Bill Shine. The Knights extended their ongoing state record league dual-match win streak to 227-0.
After three hours of play and being down by 3-2, Gunn's No. 1 and 2 singles players rallied for victories to clinch a 4-3 victory over host Monta Vista to close the SCVAL De Anza Division regular season in Cupertino.
Sophomore Conrad Russell battled back for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 2 to tie the match at 3 before senior Andy Zhou clinched a tie for second place with the Matadors by posting a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 triumph at No. 1.
Gunn finished 9-3 in the division (13-6 overall) and next will host Bellarmine on Wednesday in a final nonleague match before heading into the SCVAL Individual Tournament on April 28 (at Los Altos) and April 29 (at Gunn).