Last week’s girls soccer game between Los Altos and Mountain View highs didn’t resolve anything – the Eagles and Spartans played to a scoreless tie – so today’s regular-season finales will settle the four-team battle for first place in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division.
Los Altos (6-1-3 league) and Palo Alto (6-2-3) entered Friday’s games – played after the Town Crier’s deadline – tied atop the division, while Mountain View (5-0-5) and Los Gatos (6-3-1) were close behind. The race is so tight that none of these teams could claim the crown Friday.
“It will come down to the final day,” Spartans coach Ivan Bandov said.
The Eagles control their own destiny, needing to beat visiting Homestead (2-6-2) Friday and host Los Gatos today (3:30 p.m.) to guarantee themselves the league title.
“It will be really close, but I think we can do it,” Los Altos midfielder Allie Crum said about taking the title after the Feb. 12 tie at Mountain View.
Bandov, however, still liked the Spartans’ chances of finishing first.
“Getting a point out of this (tie) is good because, on paper, we have the easiest road left,” he said. “Palo Alto and Los Altos both still have to play Los Gatos. No games are easy, of course, but we have Monta Vista and Saratoga left, who we beat comfortably last time.”
Mountain View was slated to visit Monta Vista (0-10) Friday and host Saratoga (4-7) 3:30 p.m. today.
“If things work out, hopefully we’ll finish on top,” Bandov said. “We have the tiebreaker over all those (contending) teams because we have wins and ties against each of them. That can be helpful.”
Mountain View (8-2-6 overall) edged Los Altos 1-0 when the teams met Jan. 22 on a last-minute goal by striker Morgan Matthews. The junior got off a few shots in last week’s rematch, all in the first half.
The Eagles (8-3-4 overall) created the best scoring chance of the afternoon, set up by Crum’s direct kick midway through the first half. The junior’s 35-yard boot hit the goal post and bounced to teammate Sophia Hyver, whose bicycle kick looked destined for the net. That is, until Spartans goalie Sophie Brotzel lunged at the ball to make the save of the day.
“That was really close and really exciting,” Crum said of the play. “That (chance) and the one at the end with Haleigh was also exciting.”
Haleigh Miller’s shot in the game’s final minute proved to be the Eagles’ next-best chance at breaking the tie. The senior’s 15-yard attempt sailed just wide right of the goal.
“We had our chances, they had their chances,” Bandov said. “Both keepers were very good, both defenses were great, and in return you get a 0-0 draw.”
The result didn’t surprise Bandov or Crum, who also acknowledged that these rivals are evenly matched.
“It’s always a fun game and it’s always really intense,” Crum said. “It was tough. It’s always a fight instead of pretty play.”
2013 girls soccer: Los Altos High School vs. Mountain View High School - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier