There’s nothing like an intense rivalry to get things going this early in the soccer season. Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep have been the top two teams in the West Bay Athletic League, both boys and girls, for several years now and when they meet, it’s a battle.
Menlo took round one, winning the boys game at Sacred Heart Prep, 3-2, and winning the girls game, 4-2, at Menlo.
Senior Luke Appel gave the Knights (2-0-1) an early advantage, scoring off an assist from senior Tor Micaelian. That was all the offense in the first half as Menlo goalie Peter Gray and SHP goalie Logan Aboudara were warriors in the net.
Micaelian made it 2-0 midway through the second half when he got behind the defense after taking a pass from Steph Nivaggioli and outmaneuvered Aboudara in a 1-on-1 situation.
SHP (1-1) responded on its next possession, earning a penalty kick. Chase Dolinko calmly stepped up and put the Gators on the board.
Menlo opened a 3-1 lead with about five minutes left when senior Christian Corcoran redirected a rebounded shot by Ilan Listgarten into the net, sparking an impromptu celebration under one of the taller trees that share the sideline with spectators.
Sacred Heart Prep continued to press and drew within 3-2 when Dolinko took a pass from Tristan Mischke-Reeds and somehow got a shot off in a crowd that went into the net.
The Gators were still on the attack when the game ended, sparking yet another Menlo celebration in the middle of the field.
The Menlo girls struck early and matched SHP goal for goal the rest of the first half. In the fifth minute, Siena Gavin scored on a corner kick from junior Carolina Espinosa.
Sydney Adas tied the game in the 17th minute, taking a pass from Fiona Perkocha and firing it into the net.
Espinosa followed with a goal, on an assist from Ellie El-Fishawy, to give the Knights a 2-1 advantage.
Juliana Rosen knotted things up again, with an assist from Molly Tinsley. But Espinosa scored on a penalty kick for a 3-2 halftime lead.
In the second half, Knights senior Gabby Kogler added an insurance goal on assists from Espinosa and senior Stella El-Fishawy.
The Knights outshot the Gators 14-4, and Menlo junior Ayla Seddighnezad picked up her second win.
The Mountain View girls scored in the final seconds to edge host Palo Alto, 2-1, in a Santa Clara Valley Athletic League contest.
Aoi Sugihara, with an assist from Lily Seedman, scored for the Vikings.
The Menlo-Atherton girls also won their Peninsula Athletic League contest, beating Burlingame, 2-1.
Menlo set a school record with 17 3-pointers en route to an 82-61 nonleague victory over visiting Half Moon Bay on Thursday.
Avery Lee, who will be attending Yale in the fall, led the Knights with 28 points. Coco Layton scored 17 points on a team-high five 3-pointers and a pair of free throws.
Reagan Grady hit four 3-pointers for her 12 points. Menlo opens WBAL play on Wednesday at 5pm at Woodside Priory.
Annika Shah scored 16 points and Carly Martin added 14 as Palo Alto beat host St. Francis, 55-41, in a nonleague game Thursday.
Elif Turgut netted 10 points for the Vikings (1-1), who host Los Altos in a SCVAL contest Friday night. Ilayda Turgut added eight points and seven rebounds.
Jessica Riske, who recorded nine rebounds, converted a three-point play with 2:07 remaining to play, giving Paly a 51-36 edge, to seal the victory. She drove from the top of the key, hit a driving layup and the ensuing free throw.
Boys water polo
Gunn opened its SCVAL season with a 14-5 win against host Mountain View. Cole Vale led the way with five goals and Rowan Brougham added three. Goalie Isaac Zelkha came up with 12 saves. Gunn (1-1, 1-0) plays at home on Saturday against Los Altos at 12:30 pm.
Woodside edged Menlo-Atherton, 7-6, in sudden victory Thursday in Peninsula Athletic League play.
Girls water polo
Kate Mallery scored seven goals and Gunn beat host Mountain View, 20-4, in a league match Thursday.
Siham Arasalane added two goals and recorded seven assists. Kenza Ashworth contributed five goals and four steals. Jayden Kratt recorded nine saves, for a save percentage of .692. Gunn hosts Los Altos on Saturday at 10 am.
Anjali Kambham was one of three players to score twice as Castilleja beat visiting Palo Alto, 9-3, in a SCVAL game Thursday.
Lexi Triantis and Syd Lowell each added two goals and Abena Ofori-Nyako recorded six saves in the goal.
Taluta Seale, Serafina Cortez and Gabby Lewis also scored as the Gators (3-0, 2-0) shutout the Vikings in the second half.
Menlo-Atherton beat Woodside, 11-8, in a PAL contest.
Rowen Barnes and Sean Quinton combined to toss a three-hitter and host Menlo-Atherton beat San Mateo, 2-0, completing a two-game sweep with another shutout.
The pitchers combined for eight strikeouts and one walk.
Griffin Williams, who threw a shutout at the Bearcats on Tuesday, and Reno DiBono each collected a pair of hits and drove in a run. Will Cronin and Colin Galles each added two hits.
The Bears (5-5, 2-0) host Homestead in a nonleague game Monday afternoon.
Palo Alto needed third-set tiebreakers in all four of its wins to edge host Sacred Heart Prep, 4-3, in a nonleague match Wednesday.
Josh Kaplan and Marcos Hakeman both lost their first sets before rallying, giving the Vikings the edge.
Aarav Chanrasekar and Neal Chopra each won singles matches for Sacred Heart Prep.
The Gators (1-2, 1-0) came back to beat visiting Harker, 4-3, in the West Bay Athletic League opener for both teams.
SHP received wins from its top three singles players, Conor Burns, Chandrasekar and Chopra, to pace the victory.
In another WBAL opener, host Menlo topped Crystal Springs Uplands, 6-1.
Knights freshman Evan Burnett fell at No.1 singles to senior Brian Bilsey.
Juniors Mick Tamas, Alex Volgin and Rishi Jain all sailed to wins in straight sets.
Juniors Soren Sutaria and Nishan Rajavasireddy won at No. 1 doubles, and junior Nik Khuntia and senior Justin Tian teamed for a straight-sets victory at No.2. Seniors Joshua Lowe and Daniel Tam closed the doubles sweep for Menlo.
Gunn beat host Homestead, 5-2, in a SCVAL match, getting wins at No. 1 and No. 3 singles, Raghav Jangbahadur and Colin Chen respectively, and swept the three doubles matches. Gunn (2-1) will be at home Wednesday for a nonleague match against Sacred Heart Prep
Gunn dropped a tough 5-set match to host Santa Clara. Zach Chang had 12 kills and Devin Shim had seven.
Sebastein Caldera led the team with 22 assists. The Titans will be home on Saturday against Wilcox at 10 a.m.
Palo Alto swept Wilcox in another SCVAL contest Thursday.
In a WBAL opener, Menlo defeated The King's Academy, 195-243, Thursday at Baylands Golf Links.
Knights senior Jeremy Yun was medalist with a 34 while freshman Eric Yun carded a 35. Juniors Marcus Ying and Ryan Schaefer shot 41 and 42 respectively. Saaz Ahuja, a junior, and Troy Demmon, a senior, each carded a 44.
The top scorer for TKA was Terry Nguyen, who fired a 41.
Menlo-Atherton and Aragon played to an 8-8 tie.
St. Ignatius downed host Sacred Heart Prep, 19-7.