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Young Eagles perched near top of De Anza Division standings


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Los Altos High goalie Carrie Wendelken, a freshman, has made 35 saves this season.

With six freshmen and five sophomores among its 21 players, Los Altos High may have the youngest girls soccer team in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division. But these Eagles have played more soccer than one might think.

“We have a lot of young players on the squad that have come in with a lot of club soccer experience,” coach Armando Luna said. “They are all smart, technical players who understand the game and force the other older players to play our game.”

And play it successfully – Los Altos is contending for the league title and a spot in the Central Coast Section playoffs. The Eagles entered this week second to Los Gatos in the De Anza Division at 5-1-1 and with a 7-2-2 overall record.

Freshman Stephanie Kouvelas has a team-high 11 points, leading the Eagles in goals (four) and assists (three). Freshman Tess Wendelken – twin sister of starting goalie Carrie – and sophomore Allie Crum are next with three goals each. Junior Julia Goupil is the other Los Altos player with multiple goals, scoring twice.

Goupil and senior Sabrina Petros are the team captains.

“Both players have a positive, competitive attitude that is passed on to all the other players,” said Luna, a 1999 Los Altos High graduate. “They are very committed to the team and are natural leaders.”

After starting the season with a tie and a loss, the Eagles went eight games without suffering a defeat (seven wins and a tie). That streak ended Jan. 23 when Los Altos fell 1-0 to visiting Saratoga.

“They have been working hard all preseason and it is paying off now,” Luna said of his squad. “We are also understanding each other a little better with every game that we play.”

The Eagles haven’t scored a lot of goals – just 13 over 11 games – but they’re not allowing many, either. Los Altos has limited its opponents to just five goals, posting shutouts in seven games.

“Our overall team defense is our strength,” Luna said, “and we have a midfield that is becoming stronger with every game.”

Los Altos’ next game is scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at rival Mountain View.

The Spartans are coming off a 2-0 win at Saratoga. Freshman Ysabel Baluyot scored both goals in Friday’s match. Danna Weintraub and Erica Higa each earned an assist.

Defending CCS champion Mountain View is just behind Los Altos in the division standings at 5-2-1 and has a 12-3-1 overall record.

Coach Ivan Bandov – whose Spartans tied the host Eagles 2-all in their previous league meeting (Jan. 9) – described today’s contest as an “important match.”

Lancers win a pair

St. Francis won both its games last week, improving to 7-1-1 in the West Catholic Athletic League and 13-1-1 overall.

The Lancers followed a 3-0 win at Presentation Jan. 23 with a 1-0 victory at St. Ignatius Saturday.

Junior Annie Kingman scored two goals versus Presentation and one against St. Ignatius, giving her a team-high 21 for the season.

Peyton Cassin scored St. Francis’ other goal in the Presentation match, assisted by Alexandria Reckas and Tierney McClenahan. Reckas also assisted on Kingman’s initial goal.

The Lancers are scheduled to visit Mitty 3:15 p.m. today. St. Francis is second to Mitty (8-0-1) in the league standings.

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