Japic scores twice in Palo Alto's victory over the Bears


Palo Alto freshman midfielder Chloe Japic scored two goals to lead the Vikings to a 5-0 nonleague victory over visiting Menlo-Atherton on Saturday.

The Vikings won their third straight to open the season while the Bears (0-2) lost their second.

Nolan Peterson
“The second half we’ve been much better,” said Palo Alto coach Kurt Devlin. “Our transition and defending and our shooting more so. I told them, ‘We need to get better passes’. We complicated the game for ourselves, bad turnovers we had to run and defend all the time. When they play faster, they defend better and it’s a much better situation for us.”

Menlo-Atherton outshot Palo Alto, 8-1, in shots on goal during the first half. The Vikings reversed that with eight shots on goal to MA’s three in the second half.

With just over six minutes left in the first half, Japic used her right foot to smash the ball just past the diving M-A goalie and Paly took a lead it never relinquished.

“In the beginning, we kept the ball but we didn’t really have the chance to go forward,” said Japic. “Once we got that first goal I think we got more comfortable and then we started to attack more.”

Fifteen minutes into the second half, senior midfielder Tess Preising got a corner kick from junior Emily Tomz and, after a deflection, kicked the ball past the goalie. The senior scored her third goal in three games played.

Nine minutes later, junior defender Reilly Filter got an identical corner kick from Tomz and knocked it home for her first goal of the season and Paly went up 3-0.

Palo Alto senior Natalie Maloney joined the party and knocked a goal in with her left foot and PA took a 4-0 lead with just over seven minutes left.

The MA offense just couldn’t get going the second half the way it did in the first. They were only able to get three shots on goal and the time of possession belonged to The Vikings.

Japic scored her second goal of the game, using her left foot to boot it over the goalie's head to make it a 5-0 game.

The five goals were the most The Vikings have scored since Feb. 3 against Milpitas in a 6-0 decision.

“It definitely builds a lot of momentum,” said Japic. “I think we’ll go into that game with a lot of confidence and we’re definitely going to keep growing. I don’t think our confidence will go down, this is just the beginning.”

Palo Alto will host Capuchino on Monday at 4 p.m. while The Bears host Mountain View on December 7 at 3:30.

In another game, Sacred Heart Prep dropped a 4-2 decision to Saint Francis as part of the Firebird Classic at Fremont High.

Sarah Paulson scored twice for the Lancers, Sofia Jones had a goal and an assist and Katherine Paulson scored.

The Gators (1-1) meet Santa Teresa at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Classic. Saint Francis (1-0) plays Carlmont.

Boys soccer

The Menlo School boys soccer team wasted little time in scoring its first goal of the season and then making sure it stood up.

The Knights beat visiting St. Francis, 1-0, in a nonleague game Saturday with the first goal arriving in the second minute of the contest.

Junior Billy Hamilton cut into the box and hit a fierce shot that the Lancers goalie could only deflect. Senior Zeke Coxe redirected the rebound into the net for his first varsity soccer goal for Menlo.

The Lancers regained their composure quickly and controlled the temp for the much of the half, putting Menlo under sustained pressure. Senior goalie Nolan Peterson and junior captains David Quezada and Alistair Shaw had extremely strong performances for the Knights in the shutout victory.

They were supported by senior defenders Charlie Lambert and Jack Swisher as well as sophomore defender Max Colowick and freshman defender Andres Simbeck.

Menlo came out stronger in the second half and had some early chances to double their advantage. Sophomore Ben Lasky used some nifty footwork to create chances but was ultimately denied by the Lancers keeper.

Menlo held off some late Saint Francis chances to seal the victory.

Menlo takes the field Thursday in another nonleague game, on the road against rival Menlo-Atherton.

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