This is a big week for the Palo Alto boys and girls in their quests to claim their respective SCVAL De Anza Division soccer titles. Both teams, still unbeaten, have three matches this week while heading into the second half of league play.
The Vikings got their respective weeks off to a good start as both posted 2-0 victories over Santa Clara.
The Paly boys scored twice in the opening half while improving to 6-0 in league and 12-0-1 overall. Sidd Srinivasan scored an unassisted goal at the 15-minute mark and fellow senior Allesandro Reale made it 2-0 in the 25th minute, also unassisted. The Vikings now have outscored opponents 37-3 this season and have allowed just one goal in league play.
Paly allowed Santa Clara few shots and opportunities while having 10-plus corner kicks.
"The Santa Clara keeper and defenders made several nice saves, including a centerback heading away a sure score by Jack Stoksik from 20 yards out," explained Paly coach Don Briggs.
Briggs singled out centerbacks Neal Verwillow, Derek Schoenberger and right/left backs Declan Cassini, Roberto Sotelo, and Cameron Huard for their play as they made keeper Eli Friedlander's job fairly easy in the goal.
Paly next will host Los Gatos on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.) before visiting second-place Homestead on Friday.
The Paly girls, meanwhile, remained tied for first place with Mountain View following yet another shutout victory. Talia Malchin scored the eventual game-winner on a free kick and Alison Lu scored off an assist from Reilly Filter, both in the opening 12 minutes.
"The girls were great last night," said Paly coach Kurt Devlin. "Hope to replicate that tomorrow (at Los Gatos) but I have reservations. Los Gatos can bunker in and make the game difficult."
The Vikings improved to 5-0-1 in league and 10-0-1 overall and now have outscored opponents by 39-2 this season. Paly will conclude its three-match week by hosting Homestead on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Palo Alto is playing without senior Jacey Pederson, who is in Florida at a training camp for the U.S. U-19 National Team.