For 45 consecutive games, the Mountain View High girls soccer team was invincible at home. That sensational streak ended last week when Palo Alto handed the Spartans their first home loss since Jan. 30, 2013.
“All good things come to an end,” Mountain View coach Ivan Bandov said after his team fell 2-1 to the Vikings Jan. 24 in league play.
Paly not only snapped the Spartans’ unbeaten home streak, but it also ended their run of 21 straight games without a loss. That streak started Feb. 2 of last year – two days after these same Vikings defeated them 2-0.
Paly jumped to a 2-0 lead in last week’s game as well.
“Clearly they came out the better team in the first half,” Mountain View midfielder Nicole Bumgarner said. “We had our chances but couldn’t finish in the final third (of the field). The second half we started playing our game.”
Bumgarner assisted on the Spartans’ sole goal, delivered by fellow senior Laura Carceroni with approximately 25 minutes to play.
“We dominated much of the second half and had about seven or eight goal-scoring chances,” said Bandov, who switched his team to a 3-5-2 formation at halftime, “but were unable to get the second goal.”
The loss dropped Mountain View into second place in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division, right behind Paly. The Spartans bounced back Friday, beating host Santa Clara 2-0 to improve to 6-1-0 in league and 13-1 overall. Palo Alto, which had a bye Friday, is 5-0-1 in league, 9-2-1 overall.
Mountain View has three more games to play before the highly anticipated rematch, set for 3:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at Paly.
“Moving forward, we can’t take anything for granted. We need to come out aggressive every game if we want to be league champions,” said Bumgarner, who helped Mountain View win league and Central Coast Section titles last year. “Losing one game is not the end of the world. We’ll use it as a motivator.”
Los Altos’ struggles continued last week, as the Eagles dropped a pair of games to sink to 0-6-1 in the De Anza Division and 2-9-1 overall. After a 4-0 road loss to Los Gatos Jan. 24, Los Altos fell 3-0 at home to Saratoga Friday.
Host Mountain View edged Santa Clara 1-0 Friday in what Spartans coach Jim McGuirk described as “probably our most complete game of the year.”
Winston Shustock scored midway through the first half, assisted by Vasily Nikulin.
“Our defense of Nikhil Weigel, Ian Schneider, Paul Faurot, Neal Lund and Fernando Miranda did a great job of shutting down Santa Clara, who has the leading scorer in the league,” McGuirk said.
Mountain View, which lost 2-0 at Palo Alto earlier in the week, is 3-4 in the De Anza Division and 6-9 overall.
Los Altos scored a goal in each half to beat host Fremont 2-0 Friday in De Anza Division play. Ivan Amaya and Jack Kloeckl notched goals for the Eagles (5-1-1 league, 9-2-4 overall).
Earlier in the week, host Los Altos played Los Gatos to a 1-all draw. The Eagles evened the score on Henry Lai’s goal off a free kick in the second half.
For the seventh time this season, Los Altos held an opponent to under 30 points. The Eagles beat host Fremont 40-24 Friday, improving to 5-2 in the SCVAL El Camino Division and 11-8 overall.
Mahika Gupta led Los Altos with 12 points, Jamie Baum added 10 and Rachel Lu scored nine.
Earlier in the week, the Eagles took down winless Monta Vista 43-34 behind 20 points from Gupta.
Pinewood drubbed Notre Dame-Belmont 66-38 Thursday for its 13th consecutive victory. Klara Astrom scored 16 points for the Panthers (5-0 West Bay Athletic League and 17-1 overall).
Mountain View lost its fifth game in a row, falling 61-41 at home to Wilcox Friday. The Spartans, who earlier in the week dropped a 58-37 decision at Palo Alto, slumped to 2-5 in the De Anza Division and 7-11 overall.
Host Mountain View suffered its third straight defeat, falling 47-44 to Wilcox Friday. Sam Tobin scored 17 points for the Spartans.
Mountain View, routed by Palo Alto 74-32 earlier in the week, is 2-5 in the De Anza Division and 11-8 overall.
After a 6-0 start in West Catholic Athletic League play, St. Francis (14-4 overall) has dropped two games in a row. The Lancers followed a 64-61 setback at rival Bellarmine Jan. 23 with a 73-61 home loss to Serra Friday.
Menlo handed Pinewood its worst loss of the season, 61-24 Friday in Los Altos Hills. The Panthers, who earlier in the week fell 71-55 at King’s Academy, are 4-4 in the WBAL and 10-7 overall.
Mountain View trounced Santa Clara 54-4 Thursday, improving to 3-1 in the El Camino Division.
“We did extremely well, and our team is getting better and better every week,” coach Francisco Hernandez said.