It took the Los Altos High girls soccer team just one game to see how much better the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division is than the SCVAL El Camino Division it won last season.
The newly promoted Eagles opened against reigning De Anza Division champion Mountain View, which routed them 8-0 Jan. 3.
“It’s a learning exercise for us,” Los Altos coach Killian McHugh said. “At least we got that game out of the way. Mountain View is literally that good – they’re one of the best girls teams I’ve ever seen.”
The Spartans, the defending Central Coast Section Open Division champs, improved to 9-0 overall. They’ve allowed only six goals this season.
Mountain View led Los Altos 4-0 at halftime, and Spartans coach Ivan Bandov emptied his bench in the second half.
“It’s a nice way to start league – to start strong against the school’s rival,” Bandov said. “We got everyone in, and we have such good depth that the level of play doesn’t drop that much.”
Mountain View’s starters did most of the damage: Lucy Tang tallied three goals, Nicole Bumgarner scored twice and Bethan Parry and Laura Carceroni notched three assists each. Janvi Subramanyan came off the bench to score two goals and Emma Lewis one.
“We were playing for pride in the second half, and we played better,” McHugh said. “We should have got two goals at least – we had three shots off the crossbar and the post.”
The coach also noted that the Eagles were missing five starters due to injury or illness, and they lost another one for Friday’s game at Saratoga. But Los Altos still managed to pull out a 1-1 tie, with Gillian Antiporda scoring in the second half.
The Spartans, who had a bye Friday, “have been healthy so far,” Bandov said.
Mountain View may not be as experienced as last season, losing five starters to graduation, but the team doesn’t seem to lack talent. Six players have already committed to colleges, including new addition Sydney Arrillaga.
“Sydney’s been a tremendous asset,” Bandov said of the junior, bound for UC Santa Barbara in 2019. “She’s our defensive center midfielder and is always on the ball. She’s a big part of why we’ve been successful.”
Forward Carceroni is headed to UC Santa Barbara next fall. The Spartans’ other college commits include forward Tang (UC San Diego), midfielders Bumgarner (Eastern Washington University) and Parry (University of San Francisco) and defender Elena Palacios (University of Hawaii). All of them are seniors.
Mountain View is scheduled to visit Homestead 3:30 p.m. today, while Los Altos ((2-4-1 overall) is set to host Palo Alto at the same time in another league match-up.