M-A girls can celebrate a second straight league title

Breanna Sandoval recorded her third straight shutout.

Menlo-Atherton had so much fun winning a Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division girls soccer title last year, the Bears decided to do it again this season.

M-A had gone nearly 20 years without a title before going unbeaten in PAL play last season. The Bears, who beat host Carlmont 3-0 Tuesday to clinch the crown with one game remaining in the regular season, didn't quite match last year's record, though no one seems to be be complaining.

Diana Morales
Menlo-Atherton has done a little bit of everything, from outscoring its league foes by a 22-9 margin, to recording nine shutouts on the season, including the past three and four of five.

Breanna Sandoval, who played the majority of time last year, has stepped up her game this time around. It helps when you have a solid group of defenders in front of you. That helps when Sandoval is called upon to make the big save.

It also helps to have returning players like Diana Morales and Yara Gomez Zavala poking around in the opposition’s zone for much of the match. Morales, who had a goal and assist in the win over the Scots, has an dozen goals. Not so coincidentally, Gomez Zavala has a team high 12 assists.

Elise Kratzer, who started the season on the junior varsity, has been a spark plug since joining the varsity. She returned coach Jason Luce's confidence in her by scoring twice against Carlmont.

The Bears travel to Woodside for the PAL finale on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The Wildcats (5-4-7, 5-4-5) beat Burlingame, 1-0, Tuesday.

In the West Bay Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep's Megan Tinsley seems to have decided she's no longer a freshman. She's been terrific the past couple of weeks and, Tuesday, helped the Gators beat rival Menlo, 3-2, spoiling the Knights' plan of grabbing a share of the league title.

Tinsley had a pair of goals and recorded an assist on Juliana Rosen's goal, the first of the game.

Notre Dame-Belmont topped visiting Priory, 4-0, to clinch the league title. The Panthers (10-7, 6-4) finished third in their first year in the Foothill Division. Menlo (7-10-2, 6-3-1) still finished second and Sacred Heart Prep (6-12-1, 5-4-1) was fourth.

The teams will find out their postseason destiny following the CCS seeding meeting Saturday.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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