The wait is over for the Menlo School's boys' soccer team. Menlo has officially been knighted as West Bay Athletic League champions and no help was needed. The Knights beat rival Sacred Heart Prep, 3-1, Tuesday to complete their mission.
The knight of Knights Alistair Shaw led the charge, assisting on the first two goals and then doing the honors himself on the third joust, er, goal.
The WBAL crown was a first for Menlo coach Marc Kerrest and his court. It was also the first soccer league title of any kind since the Knights won the Private Schools Athletic League title in 2002.
"It feels great. This is my second year playing, and last year, we got really close to winning league and went far in CCS," Menlo senior Daniel Hausen said. "I knew for my senior year, we had one more chance. We beat Prep twice, won league, dream come true."
Menlo (12-1-3, 8-0-3) can relax for a few days. The Knights finish their season with a 3:30 p.m. match at Priory (1-13-1, 0-10-1) on Thursday.
Sacred Heart Prep (9-7-2, 7-4) needs to beat host Crystal Springs Uplands (5-6 in league play) in its finale to assure itself of a berth in the Central Coast Section playoffs.
The CCS soccer seeding meetings are on Saturday. The boys teams will be seeded at 3:30 p.m. The girls' brackets will be seeded at 1 p.m.
Last season, the Knights entered the playoffs as the 16th seed and climbed its way to the semifinals. Sacred Heart Prep missed the playoffs while Woodside, Menlo-Atherton and Palo Alto each lost in the first round.
Against the Gators, Menlo grabbed the early lead and never looked back. Shaw found Hausen, who scored with 18:30 left in the first half.
"The ball went to the right corner, and I see Alistair has it, and I know he can pull off his man and get it in, and I just ran inside the box," Hausen said. "I knew he could find my feet and I just placed it in the side netting. It definitely was an amazing feeling and brought up the energy in the game."
Menlo needed a little more than a minute to find the back the net again. Ben Lasky converted an assist from Shaw to make it 2-0.
Menlo made it 3-0 with 17:30 left in the second half when Shaw added a goal of his own on a Lasky feed.
In other WBAL matches, Harker beat Eastside College Prep (8-7-3, 2-7-3), 4-1 and The King's Academy topped Crystal Springs, 5-0.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Neil Verwillow scored three goals and Palo Alto beat host Monta Vista, 6-0.
Michel-Ange Siaba took the afternoon off from goalkeeping duties and scored a goal as a thank you ote to the team.
Kira Misner and Patrick Macintosh combined for the shutout.
Yahli Malchin scored the final goal for the Vikings (11-6-1, 4-5-1), who host Santa Clara on Wednesday in a make-up game at 3 p.m.
In the El Camino Division, host Gunn (9-5-3, 6-3-1) earned a nice win, beating second-place Saratoga (9-3-3, 7-2-2), 3-2.
Menlo-Atherton can leave the stress behind and stretch its legs for a bit.
The Bears (14-3-1, 13-0) has the PAL Bay Division title nicely wrapped up in a package.
M-A downed visiting Capuchino, 6-1, in a Senior Day extravaganza.
Senior Katie Guenin scored another two goals, giving her 26 on the season and 64 for her career.
Guenin also added an assist on Josephine Cotto's goal that made it 2-0.
Diana Morales sparked things to open the secnd half, sending a drop pass to Guenin, who shot it into the net.
After sophomore Yara Gomez was fouled in the box, senior Margaret Child scored goal number four on a penalty kick.
Child sent the assist to Morales for a fifth goal and Morales followed with a quick sixth goal, shooting from the top of the box, over the Capuchino keeper, with an assist from Gomez.
The Bears reliable defense allowed a single Mustangs goal.
The M-A seniors started, and finished, the game including defenders Ali Sivilotti, Alison Galbraith, Laurel Patrick, and Teresa Amor, midfielders Alissa McNerney, Nicole Salz, and Child, and forward Katie Guenin.
Menlo-Atherton plays its final league game on Thursday at Woodside (10-6-3, 10-2-1) before moving on to the CCS Open Division.
The Wildcats, defending CCS open Division champs, beat Terra Nova, 3-0, on Tuesday, their sixth straight victory.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto (14-0-4, 8-0-4) took care of business, beating Fremont, 5-0, to complete the regular season with 17 shutouts, including 16 straight.
The Vikings will remain in a holding pattern until Mountain View (15-1-3, 8-1-2) plays at Los Gatos. The Spartans, who lost to Woodside in last year's championship match, need to win to overtake Paly.
Natalie Maloney scored a pair of goals for the Vikings. Reilly Filter, assisted by Emily Tomz, Chloe Japic, assisted by Ally Scheve, and Caroline Furrier, assisted by Claire Chen.
In the El Camino Division, Gunn (11-6-2, 9-1-1) dropped a 3-0 decision to host Los Altos (11-5-2, 10-1) and fell out of first place for the first time this season.
Mia Shenk scored twice and Sacred Heart Prep (13-5-1, 8-1-1) beat Crystal Springs, 3-0, and clinched the WBAL Foothill Division title.
Menlo (11-4-3, 6-2-2) tied Notre Dame San Jose, 1-1. Emily Demmon scored for Menlo.
The Gators are looking to unseat Menlo as CCS Division II champs.
Menlo-Atherton (23-1, 12-0) finished its PAL South League title with an undefeated run through regular season, including Tuesday's 65-39 victory over Hillsdale.
Greer Hoyem scored 16 points, leading four players in double figures. Carly McLanahan had 13, and Erica Fischer and Oga Sili each added 10.
The Bears start their run for a third consecutive PAL championship with a first round game at home Thursday at 5:30 pm against likely opponent Jefferson.
In the WBAL, Sam McCabe recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Priory (15-8, 5-4) beat Notre Dame-Belmont, 46-35, on Tuesday.
Tatiana Reese had 10 points, seven assists and three steals, while Lala Niu added another 10 points. The Panthers play Pinewood (21-2, 9-0) on Thursday.
Pinewood beat Sacred Heart Prep (11-10, 2-7), 82-45, and Eastside College Prep (17-6, 7-2) topped Menlo (13-10, 4-5), 66-51.
Menlo earned a 62-47 victory over visiting Harker on Senior Night.
The Knights (15-7, 12-1) plays its final regular-season game at Crystal Springs on Thursday before finding out its CCS seeding over the weekend.
Nine players scored for the Knights, led by junior Joe Foley's 16. Foley also had five rebounds while fellow junior Riley Woodson posted 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Senior Hayden Pegley had five assists, four steals and added seven points.
In other WBAL action, Aaron Cason scored 16 points to lead Eastside College Prep (17-6, 8-5) past Sacred Heart Prep, 46-32, on Tuesday. Isiah East and Joshua Walker-Ford each added 12.
The Gators (11-12, 7-6) were led by Tevin Panchal with 15 points. Eric DeBrine added 12.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Jeffrey Lee-Heidenreich scored 11 points but Gunn (12-10, 3-8) fell to Los Altos, 54-43.
Palo Alto lost its first league game of the season, falling to Los Gatos, 54-49. The Vikings (19-4, 10-1) made 10 3-pointers in the loss, fopur by Spencer Rojahn and three by Miles Tention.
In the PAL South Division, Menlo-Atherton (20-4, 11-1) clinched the title with a 67-37 decision over Hillsdale. The Bears spotted Hillsdale 12 points and then more than doubled that, scoring the next 32 points en route to the victory.