Varsity Girls Soccer

Palo Alto 1, Saratoga 0

Date of competition: Friday, January 13, 2012

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Getting a first-half goal from Nina Kelty, the Palo Alto girls' soccer team held on for a 1-0 victory over visiting Saratoga in SCVAL De Anza Division action Friday. The Vikings improved to 1-2-1 (3-4-3 overall).

The first 20 minutes were evenly matched with the defenses on both sides preventing and any threatening shots on goal. In the 23rd minute, Saratoga finally broke through into the front of the goal when Paly's Erin Chang came out to make a save. Chang got the loose ball on the ground when Courtney Brandt of Saratoga slammed into Chang's right thigh with cleats up. Brandt was given a red card and ejected from the game. Saratoga's coach objected to the call and argued with the referee, who pulled out a yellow card and then a red card, this time ejecting a still-arguing coach from the field.

With 20 minutes remaining in the first half, Paly played aggressively while sending consecutive balls right in front of the goal and out-shooting Saratoga, 8 to 1. However, the Vikings couldn't find the back of the net until stoppage time when Jordan Smith crossed a perfectly placed ball to the six-yard line, right in front of the goal and Kelty slammed the ball past Saratoga's goal keeper.

In the second half, Saratoga came onto the field -- still playing one player down. Four minutes into the half, Saratoga had a long free kick which just skimmed the top of the crossbar. Ten minutes later, the Falcons attempted another shot on a long free kick and also took four shots on goal from outside the box. Halfway into the half, the referee noticed that the ejected Saratoga coach was on the sidelines, communicating via cell phone with another Saratoga coach. The Saratoga bench was given a yellow card. Despite those problems, Saratoga hung tough with the match going back and forth. Paly unable to capitalize on numerous crosses by Hannah Totte and Smith.

In the last 10 minutes, Saratoga attempted to tie the game, stripping the ball from Paly numerous times. With two minutes left, Saratoga had a 1v1 against Chang, who foiled this last attempt to help Paly post this season's first league victory.

posted by Palo Alto Online on Jan 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

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posted by Palo Alto Online on Jan 16, 2012 at 9:56 am

Nina Kelty (right) provided the deciding goal in Palo Alto's 1-0 win over Saratoga on Friday. Photo by Al Chang.

Palo Alto's Sunny Lyu (left) battles for control during the Vikings' first league win against Saratoga on Friday. Photo by Al Chang.

Palo Alto 's Jordan Smith helped the Vikings win their first SCVAL De Anza Division match of the season on Friday. Photo by Al Chang.
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