Varsity Boys Soccer
Palo Alto 2, Santa Clara 0
Date of competition: Friday, January 30, 2009
The Palo Alto boys’ soccer team wrapped up the SCVAL De Anza Division championship with a 2-0 victory at Santa Clara on Friday. The Vikings (9-0-1, 17-1-2) needed to win only one of their final three matches, but didn’t waste any time and took care of business as quickly as possible. What’s left for Paly is to finish the regular season without a loss, which should earn the Vikings a high seed for the upcoming Central Coast Section playoffs.
In 10 league games, Paly has scored 20 goals and allowed just one. The Vikings’ defense was stellar once again in another close with a lot of "chippy" fouls, according to Paly coach Don Briggs. Santa Clara ended up with several yellow cards along with a red near the end of the game.
Paly had some early opportunities, but the Santa Clara defense kept clearing the ball out of the box. Neither team, in fact, had too many opportunities in the first half. Finally, after a clear foul in the box, senior Michael Hanabusa scored on a penalty kick. The game opened up soon after when Elliot Sanborn scored the final goal just minutes after Hanabusa's score, getting his foot on a direct kick by Adam Zernik. The rest of the game went clearly Paly's way with a number of near scores.
Both teams were highly motivated. Paly wanted to clinch the title outright with a win and Santa Clara (3-3-3, 8-3-5) was battling for third place (the final automatic CCS berth) with Milpitas and Gunn.
Zernik, John Richardson, Greg Stewart, and Federico Clerici did a nice job of controlling the game in the midfield, especially directing play in the second half.
Palo Alto actually didn't even have to win on Friday. Second-place Los Gatos finished in a 1-1 deadlock with Monta Vista, thus giving Paly the championship -- win or lose.
SCVAL De Anza Division
Palo Alto 0 2 -- 2
Santa Clara 0 0 -- 0
PA – Hanabusa (penalty kick), Sanborn (Zernik).
Records: Palo Alto 9-0-1 (17-1-2); Santa Clara 3-3-3 (8-3-5)
posted by Palo Alto Online on Jan 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm
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