It's only a slight exaggeration that senior Abby Westcott seems to be in two places at once during a Mountain View girls soccer match.
At various times Westcott is taking free kicks, corner kicks, tossing balls back into play, directing the offense and making defensive plays.
"Abby is the heart and soul of our team," Mountain View coach Jeff Panos said after Westcott helped the Spartans beat host Gunn 2-0 in a Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza match Wednesday night. "The offense runs through her."
Westcott also came up with a big defensive play as she came out of nowhere to block an Ana Schremp shot that seemed destined for the back of the net in the 15th minute, preserving a 1-0 lead.
"We watch a lot of film preparing for games," Westcott said. "And we work at practice. We just have to keep pushing, keep showing up."
Mountain View is recognized as one of the top programs in the Central Coast Section. The Spartans (8-0-1, 2-0) have won three CCS Division I championships and an Open Division title since 2011. They’ve reached seven championship matches over that span.
Mountain View finished 8-2-2 last season (one a loss to Gunn) and did not participate in the CCS playoffs.
Senior Allie Montoya, who is committed to playing at Stanford in the fall, missed Wednesday’s game with an illness. Everybody else just stepped up.
"We’re a deep team," Panos said. "We have a lot of veteran experience. Allie led the team in scoring early but in the past few games, we’ve had other people come through."
Freshman Laila Edris is one of those players. She scored once in her first six games. She has six goals in her past three games.
Edris scored the first goal against the Titans (5-3-2, 0-1-1) less than two minutes into the contest.
She originated the scoring opportunity, sending a long ball to Isabella Walker, who carried it up a few feet and fed it back to Edris along the right side of the penalty box. Edris fired a line drive into the top left corner that just evaded the reach of the Gunn goalie.
Schremp had a good scoring chance in the fifth minute that the Spartan goalie knocked over the net.
After Wescott blocked Schremp’s shot, Mountain View scored again two minutes later. Freyja Arnarsdottir fired a shot that hit the top bar and rebounded to Karena Shah, who alertly headed the ball into the net before the Gunn goalie could readjust.
Just before halftime, Gunn had a goal negated by a Mountain View penalty. The ensuing penalty kick was blocked by Sophia Sasaki. Emersen Sweeney got to the rebound, gave it to Schremp, who fired it into the net only to have it called off to an offside call.
"We started a little slow and they scored two goals," Gunn coach Leonardo Barcellos said. "We were in a different formation to start and after they scored twice, we changed things."
Barcellos was at a slight disadvantage, missing 12 players, half of them starters, due to a conflict with another school event. He brought up seven JV players as a temporary measure. They will be allowed to return to junior varsity later.
"Gunn played very well tonight with missing so many players," Panos said.
"We’re working on team chemistry," Barcellos said.
Gunn is scheduled to play at Santa Clara on Friday night while Mountain View is at home against Los Gatos.
In another SCVAL match, Katherine Thomsen scored twice in helping Palo Alto beat host Los Gatos 5-1.
Rachel North scored and had an assist. Mariana Kessinger and Brighid Baker also scored. Cassie Taleno-Dee and Josephine Vogel recorded assists.
Palo Alto (3-4-2, 1-0-1) hosts Homestead at 6 p.m. Friday.
Los Altos and Santa Clara played to a 1-1 tie. The Eagles (4-2-1, 0-1-1) host Hillsdale in a non-league match Friday.
In a PSAL North contest, East Palo Alto Academy fell to host Design Tech 5-0 at Mills High.
Luke Maxwell scored three goals and Sacred Heart Prep opened the West Bay Athletic League season with a 7-2 victory over visiting Priory on Wednesday.
Billy Thompson scored once and added three assists for SHP (3-3, 1-0) while Sean Tinsley scored twice and Thomas Sullivan scored once with two assists. Nathaniel Pi-Sunyer also had two assists.
In a PSAL contest, East Palo Alto Academy dropped a 7-2 decision to visiting Design Tech.
Gunn opened its SCVAL El Camino Division season with a 65-29 victory at Cupertino on Wednesday.
Freshman Vallory Kuelker scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Titans (6-3, 1-0), who host Mountain View at 6:15 p.m. Friday. She also blocked four shots.
Mountain View (5-3, 1-0) beat Milpitas 35-34 in another league opener.
Mollie Kuelker added 14 points for Gunn, which is off to its best start since the 2015-16 team opened 8-2.
Gunn recorded 44 rebounds, keeping Cupertino from creating second-chance opportunities. Beverly Lamis added eight boards and Zara Wang had six.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Los Altos fell to visiting Homestead 38-31.
Macy Watson hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter to tie the game at 22-all. Homestead responded with its own pair of 3-pointers to regain the advantage.
Tara Davari led the Eagles (8-3, 0-2) with seven points. Homestead improved to 10-3, 2-0.