Since the Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep girls have been playing each other in soccer, the local rivals have been pretty much even. In fact, only one victory separates the two after 17 matches.
That small margin over 7 1/2 years remained that way Tuesday after the teams battled to a 3-3 stalemate on the Gators' field.
In a battle between the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) co-leaders, nothing was decided in the standings as the Knights moved to 2-0-1 in league (4-2-4 overall) and the Gators to 2-0-1 (6-4-1).
Sacred Heart Prep still leads in the all-time series, 5-4-8. Menlo needed a victory to tie things up.
After beating the Knights twice last season on the way to winning the division crown and, eventually, the Central Coast Section Division III championship, the Gators were primed to keep their win streak intact.
That changed quickly, however, when Daria Sprague drilled free kicks from 50 and 35 yards that just eluded a jumping SHP freshman keeper Caitlin Perkocha and gave Menlo a 2-0 halftime lead. Sprague nearly scored again on a third long free kick.
The Gators, down but not out, countered with three consecutive goals in a 30-minute span to take the lead in the second half after coach Ramiro Arredondo moved Stanford-bound Tierna Davidson from midfield to forward to provide more offensive punch.
Davidson scored after taking a deflected shot by sophomore Mia Shenk. Davidson then assisted on a goal by Cameron Gordon to deadlock the match. SHP took the lead when Shenk found freshman Ingrid Corrigan, who beat her defender and tapped in the cross for a 3-2 advantage in the 72nd minute.
With momentum going against them, the Knights rallied two minutes later when an SHP clearance was left untouched. Menlo's Emily Demmon was left alone in the penalty box and tallied the equalizer.
The rivals will meet a second time on Feb. 4 at Menlo, with the WBAL title and CCS berths likely at stake.
In Sunnyvale, Castilleja got a pair of goals from senior Julia Lodoen in a 2-2 tie with host King's Academy in WBAL Foothill Division action. The Gators moved to 1-1-1 in league (2-5-3 overall).
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton got a pair of goals from junior Katie Guenin and moved into a tie for second place in the PAL Bay Division standings with a 2-1 victory over visiting Hillsdale.
Senior Kasey Love assisted on the first goal and Sarah MacLeod on the second as the Bears improved to 3-1-1 in league (5-3-1 overall). Keeper Breanna Sandoval made some key saves for M-A in the second half.
The Bears, who out-shot the Scots by 14-4, earned a tie with Carlmont behind first-place Woodside (5-0), which defeated Burlingame, 2-0, behind goals from Amanda Steinbel and Julienne Aguilera.
In WBAL Skyline Division action, Priory and host Mercy-San Francisco played to a 2-2 deadlock. The Crystal Springs at Pinewood match was postponed after referees failed to show up.
Sacred Heart Prep used its size inside and won a first-round battle with Pinewood to take the lead in the WBAL race on Tuesday night in Los Altos Hills.
Three members of the Gators' football team -- Andrew Daschbach, Justin Harmon and Kyle Stalder -- combined for 28 points and 25 rebounds to help SHP pull away from a two-point deficit after one period.
Daschbach had his best game of the season while scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Fellow senior Connor Moses tallied a game-high 21 points with senior Mason Randall adding nine points, seven assists and six rebounds as the Gators moved to 5-0 in league (7-7 overall). Pinewood dropped back at 4-1 and 7-6.
SHP got a spark from 6-foot-4 sophomore Eric DeBrine, who came off the bench in the second period and scored nine of his 17 points to help the Gators outscore the Panthers, 18-8, and take a 32-24 halftime lead. Daschbach scored 10 points in the second half to help give SHP a 53-40 lead heading into the final quarter. The Gators finished with 20 assists.
Matt Peery led Pinewood with 19 points with Kyle Murphy adding 12 and Roshan Bal 10. The teams will meet again Feb. 12 at Sacred Heart Prep.
In Hillsborough, Menlo School bounced back from a close loss to SHP last week to post an overwhelming 90-28 WBAL victory over host Crystal Springs. The Knights (3-2, 5-10) got scoring from eight players. Senior Jared Lucian scored 18 points, posted 10 assists and four steals. Sophomore JH Tevis scored a game-high 22 points, and added nine rebounds and five steals.
Menlo took a four-point advantage after the first, then unleashed a 28-9 run in the second quarter before putting the game away while allowing just four second-half points. Ben Simon tallied 15 points and Thomas Brown added 11, with the two combining for five of the team's 11 three-point goals.
Menlo, which moved into a three-way tie for third place, will play host to Pinewood on Thursday in a crucial league matchup at 6:30 p.m.
In San Jose, Zach Weiss tallied 12 points and Scott Harris added 10 as Priory rallied from a first-quarter deficit to edge host Harker, 59-55, in WBAL action. The Panthers (3-2, 7-3) used a 13-6 advantage in the second quarter to take the lead before the teams played evenly in the second half. Priory is now in a three-way tie for third place.
In East Palo Alto, Eastside Prep (1-4, 7-5) dropped a 50-46 decision to King's Academy.
Palo Alto remained within reach of first-place Los Gatos in the SCVAL De Anza Division race following a 46-43 overtime win over host Mountain View.
The Vikings (3-2, 10-6) held an 18-14 halftime lead before the Spartans (2-2, 6-6) rallied with 25 second-half points to send the game to overtime.
Alexis Harris led Paly with 11 points with Julie Chandler and Lauren Koyama combining for 17.
In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep (12-3) held visiting Mercy-San Francisco to just seven first-half points while rolling to a 51-18 nonleague victory. Ma'ata Makoni led the Gators with 14 points with Zoe Zaharias adding nine.