The U18 Palo Alto Soccer Club team, PA 97B Blue, saw its season come to an end following a 3-2 loss to Monterey County FC Lightning on Sunday in the championship match of the NorCal State Cup at Consumnes River College near Sacramento.
Palo Alto, which featured seven players from Palo Alto High and four from Gunn and came into the match ranked No. 8 nationally, fell behind by 1-0 in the first half but tied it up early in the second half when Stefan Jensen sent a corner kick to Kevin Mullin, who headed it in.
AJ Witham tallied a goal for Palo Alto about 10 minutes later for a 2-1 lead, but Palo Alto was soon assessed a red card and played down a man. Palo Alto missed taking a 3-1 lead after hitting the crossbar.
FC Lightning scored with 20 minutes left to tie it at 2, then scored the game-winner with six minutes remaining.
Palo Alto had reached the finals the previous weekend by rallying from a 2-0 deficit with four minutes remaining to tie and send the match to overtime and then penalty kicks. Palo Alto earlier defeated Diablo FC 96B by 9-3 and Madera YSL Brickwall United, 5-1.
Most of the players have been playing together since elementary school, some since the third grade. Thus, Sunday's loss marked the end of that era.
In addition to Jensen, Mullin and Witham, other team members included Cameron Khan, Charlie Andre, Guy Kasznik, Nicholas Sundermeyer, Jacob van Zyll, Gregory Maulick, Jackson Wagner, Mihai Ruber, Jonathan Rojahn, Nick Ambiel, Wesley Woo, Paul Mewes, Bailey Marsheck, Sean MacPherson and Alex Bonomi.
Gunn High grad Graham Fisher, a junior at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, was named to the D3Baseball.com All-Central Region Third Team. That is in addition to his being named First Team All-Midwest Conference last week.
Over the course of the season, his pitching record was 4-5. He led the Midwest Conference in innings pitched at 63 1/3, and was fourth in strikeouts with 53 (including a league-leading 21 looking.) Offensively, he was fourth in home runs with seven, fourth in slugging at .649, and seventh in batting average at .368.
Palo Alto High grad Joc Pederson is back in the Bay Area with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who dropped a 2-0 decision to the host San Francisco Giants in MLB action Tuesday night at AT&T Park.
Pederson had one hit in three at-bats along with two walks. He is now batting leadoff, with 10 homers and 21 RBI while hitting .235.
Palo Alto's Lily Zhang fell in the women's singles final at the ITTF North America Cup that wrapped up Sunday in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
Zhang, the top seed, lost to 26-year-old No. 2 seed Zhang Mo of Canada, 11-3, 11-1, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7). Mo was the defending champion.
In the semifinals, Zhang overcame colleague Judy Hugh, the No. 5 seed (9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-3, 11-8).
Had Zhang won, she would have qualified for the Women's World Cup in Sendai, Japan this fall.
Menlo School grad Laura Gradiska of Gettysburg College was among 39 athletes from her school to be named to the 2014-15 Centennial Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll.
Gradiska, a sophomore, played for the Gettysburg tennis team.
To be nominated for the honor roll, a student-athlete must participates in at least 50 percent of contests, matches, or meets, or in the varsity Conference championship in outdoor track & field; be at least a sophomore; and have a cumulative GPA of 3.40 or higher.
Track and field
Menlo School grad Maddy Price helped the Duke women's 1,600 relay team set a school record of 3:32.40 while finishing second at the Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Championships last weekend in Tallahassee, Fla.
Price earned second-team All-ACC honors with the 1,600 relay effort.
Duke held the lead through the first 1,500 meters of the race, but Notre Dame closed hard in the final stretch to claim gold. The Blue Devils currently rank ninth in NCAA Division I. The same group also ran the 4x100, taking eighth with a time of 45.44. The Duke women finished eithth in the final team standings with 51 points.
USA Men's Senior National Team Head Coach Dejan Udovicic has announced the Team USA roster that will take on the National League All-Stars this Saturday evening at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana.
The game serves as a tuneup for Team USA to a four-game series June 2-9 where the Americans will take on Serbia.
Playing for Team USA will be Stanford grads Tony Azevedo and Janson Wigo plus current Cardinal players Jackson Kimbell, Alex Bowen and Bret Bonanni.
In other news, the Stanford men's (club) team finished third in the 2015 Fisher Cup in La Jolla after posting a 13-12 shootout win over The Olympic Club at UC San Diego.
Benjamin Churnside coached Stanford. The roster includes: Drew Holland, Jackson Kimball, Kyle Weikert, Harrison Enright, Adam Abdulhamid, Mitchell Mendoza, Connor Stapleton, Bret Bonanni, Grant Sivesind, Cody Smith, Justin Roberto, Reid Chas, Griffin Bolan, Adam Warmoth, Samuel Pfeil, Charles Wiser and Geoffrey Lewis.
Among those playing for the Olympic Club are Cardinal grads Drac Wigo, Janson Wigo, Connor Cleary and Nick Hoversten.