Varsity Boys Soccer

Menlo 1, King's Academy 1

Date of competition: Friday, February 13, 2009

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One of the most successful seasons in years for the Menlo boys’ soccer team likely came to an end on Friday in a 6-5 penalty-kick shootout loss to visiting King’s Academy in a West Bay Athletic League playoff finale. The match decided the league’s second automatic berth into the Central Coast Section playoffs. While Menlo finished 11-4-7, the WBAL’s ‘C’ designation likely will prevent the Knights from receiving an at-large berth.

The match was Menlo’s second straight in penalty kicks. On Wednesday, the Knights beat Harker, 9-8, after the teams had tied, 2-2, after 80 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of extra time. Friday was just another incredible game.

It was a scrappy, nervous start – understandably -- from both sides before things settled down into an equally matched first half with Menlo missing a couple of golden opportunities to open the scoring before King’s scored on a superb left-foot shot from the top of the box.

Menlo came out in the second half more determined though, and played some quite stunning soccer, culminating in a beautiful equalizing goal from Jonathan Melgar after great work down the left hand side and a clever flick from senior Michael Walker. From there, Menlo got stronger and stronger, throwing everything it had at the King’s Academy goal but to no avail.

Like in the Harker match, Menlo again dominated play but still was unable to break the deadlock. Freshman Henry Bard came closest to scoring after more great build-up work down the left side, but he just put his close-range shot over the bar. And so to penalties. Menlo had chances to win but missed kicks gave King’s its chance and the visitors took it.
“A remarkable game of soccer,” said Menlo coach Giles Scott. “One for the ages. Every single Menlo player left their hearts on the field. Some of them, like seniors Michael Walker, Jeff Leibovich, Sam Woolf, Joe Pinsker, Brenden McMorrow and Khaled Bitar left maybe more than that. But, this was a great game of soccer by a great team.”

West Bay Athletic League
Playoff final
King’s Academy 1 0 0 0 0 0 – 1
Menlo 0 1 0 0 0 0 – 1
(King’s Academy wins on penalty kicks, 6-5)
Menlo – Melgar (Walker)
Records: Menlo 11- 4-7

posted by Palo Alto Online on Feb 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

Comments: 0

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