Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Allie Crum controls the ball against Aragon in the opening round of the Central Coast Section playoffs.
With one more win, the Mountain View High girls soccer team returns to the Central Coast Section final for the third consecutive year.
The fifth-seeded Spartans (17-4-1) are scheduled to meet top seed Santa Teresa (11-6-2) in the CCS Division I semifinals 7 p.m. today at Valley Christian.
“Santa Teresa will be very tough in the semifinals, as they are the No. 1 seed, but we look forward to the great challenge,” Mountain View coach Ivan Bandov said.
The Spartans are coming off a 2-0 victory over No. 4 Carlmont (15-5-2) in the quarterfinals Saturday. Bandov said Mountain View “dominated the first 40 minutes,” but led only 1-0 on a goal from Morgan Matthews – assisted by Erica Higa – midway through the half.
The defending CCS champs battled the wind – and Carlmont’s attack-minded 3-4-3 formation – in the second half, but still doubled their advantage. Ysabel Baluyot scored in the 66th minute, assisted by Higa.
Mountain View outshot Carlmont 15-4 in the game.
“The girls were terrific today,” Bandov said. “We put together a quality game plan and the girls executed it perfectly. I’m very proud of how the girls have fought through the ups and downs this season to hit their stride at the perfect time.”
In their playoff opener, the visiting Spartans pasted Piedmont Hills 6-0 Feb. 20.
Emma Donckels scored twice and Higa notched three assists. Danna Weintraub, Baluyot, Alicia De Gues and Matthews each tallied a goal.
“The girls played their best game of the season and were a joy to watch,” Bandov said.
Eagles soar into semis
If Los Altos hopes to make the CCS final for the first time in six years, it will have to knock off last year’s Division II champ.
The fifth-seeded Eagles (12-5-3) are slated to face top seed Mitty (19-0-4) in the semifinals 4:30 p.m. today at Pioneer.
In Saturday’s quarterfinals, Los Altos beat No. 4 Del Mar 2-0 at St. Francis. Both goals came in the second half, the first from Rebecca Andrews (assisted by Sophia Hyver) and the other by Hyver (Katie Winters).
To open the playoffs, the host Eagles eked out a 1-0 overtime win against No. 12 Aragon. Andrews scored the decisive goal.
Lancers also advance
St. Francis is on the other side of the Division II bracket, needing a win today to reach the final. The second-seeded Lancers (17-3-1) are set to play at No. 11 Burlingame (13-6-3) at 4:30 p.m.
The Lancers defeated No. 10 Valley Christian (16-5-3) in the quarterfinals Saturday. The host Lancers received second-half goals from Annie Kingman (penalty kick) and Caroline Olivero (assisted by Delaney Pridham and Kingman).
Panthers make early exit
Pinewood’s stellar season came to a disappointing end last week. The Panthers, who didn’t lose a game in the West Bay Athletic League Skyline Division, lost in the first round of the CCS Division III playoffs.
Seventh-seeded Stevenson edged No. 10 Pinewood 3-2 in overtime Feb. 20. The Panthers (14-4-2) went ahead twice in the first half – on shots by Olivia Biggs and Jordan Berke – only to see the Pirates respond with goals each time.
Host Stevenson (13-4-4) took its first lead 10 minutes into overtime, and Pinewood failed to score the equalizer.
“This was not our best performance,” co-head coach Michael Tetzlaff said. “I believe we were the better team with more convincing chances to score, but overall we did not play our best game.”