McNeal sisters lead Spartans past Eagles

Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Magaly Kulyger pursues Mountain View’s Amaya McNeal, above.

One sister scored goals and the other prevented them in Mountain View High’s 10-8 win over rival Los Altos in girls lacrosse last week.

With Amaya McNeal “leading the attack,” coach Andrea Keinath said, the Spartans jumped to a 6-3 lead by halftime, then goalie Araya McNeal “made some key saves to help us hang on to the lead.”

Araya finished the game with eight saves. Twin sister Amaya scored a team-high three goals – missing only two shots in the game – and notched an assist as well.

Keinath noted that her team “came out flat” April 25, “but made some adjustments at halftime and had a better second half.”

Along with the sophomore siblings, the Spartans received strong play from Rebecca Donahue, Rachel Hurst and Kenna Doeden, who “worked well together on the draws, which was key in possessing the ball,” the coach said.

Micah Ralston added two goals for Mountain View, which improved to 9-4 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League and 10-5 overall. The Spartans sit in fourth place, “and it’s likely that’s where we will stay,” said Keinath, whose team is in position to make the playoffs.

For Los Altos, the league playoffs will have to wait. The loss dropped the Eagles to 4-8 in the SCVAL and 6-8 overall.


In a game continued from April 6, Mountain View got by rival Los Altos 2-1 in extra innings last week to secure third place in the SCVAL De Anza Division.

The visiting Eagles led 1-0 when the contest was suspended due to rain and darkness as the Spartans prepared to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Mountain View had to wait nearly three weeks to get its chance – and they took advantage of it.

Anan Subramanyan led off with a double and Matt Zepeda singled to put runners on the corners. After a strikeout, the Eagles intentionally walked Bryan Rau to set a force at every base and the double-play opportunity, according to Los Altos coach Gabe Stewart. Grant Gambetta put a wrench in those plans, however, by hitting a chopper up the middle that got past the infield to tie the game. Los Altos pitcher Cobi Dougherty struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

The Eagles failed to score in the top of the 10th, leaving the Spartans an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the frame. Aran Cox hit a lead-off single, Eric Wong walked and after Los Altos got an out on a fielder’s choice, Stewart said “an ill-timed throw” moved the runners to second and third. The Eagles intentionally walked Zepeda, then Cullen Blanchfield hit a single into left field for the win.

Mountain View, which swept Milpitas later in the week, is 8-6 in league and 15-10-1 overall. Los Altos, swept by Palo Alto last week, is 6-8 in league and 15-10-1 overall.

Swimming & diving

The St. Francis boys and girls clinched WCAL round-robin titles with decisive wins over visiting Valley Christian Thursday, and they made history as well.

Both teams were unbeaten in dual meets – the boys went 6-0 and the girls 5-0 – which they had never done in the same season before, according to coach Terry O’Donnell. It’s not only a first in school history, but also league history.

The boys walloped the Warriors 127-52, while the girls prevailed 111-74.

For the boys, Lancers Justin Culetu and Andy Huang each won a pair of individual events and were part of two victorious relay teams. Culetu placed first in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 45.05 seconds) and 100 free (48.17) and anchored the winning 200 free (1:29.97) and 400 free (3:15.58) relays. Huang swam the first legs of the 400 free relay and triumphant 200 medley relay (1:38) and also took top honors in the 200 individual medley (1:58.91) and 100 backstroke (55.20).

On the girls’ side, Brooke Schaffer and Nicole Oliva led the Lancers by winning multiple events. Schaffer placed first in the 50 free (24.31) and 100 butterfly (57.85), then anchored the victorious 400 free relay (3:42.11). Oliva swam the first leg of the 400 free relay and won the 100 free (52.33) and 100 back (56.63).

Boys tennis

John Rado last week went from being Mountain View’s No. 2 singles player to the SCVAL El Camino Division’s No. 1 singles player. The freshman – who played No. 2 singles throughout the regular season – won the singles championship at the El Camino Division’s individual tournament, which concluded April 26.

Rado defeated Fremont’s Rick Zheng 6-1, 6-4 in the final.

“John was very effective with his left-handed slice serve and strong ground strokes on both sides,” Mountain View coach Frank Smyth said.

The win earned Rado an invitation to the Central Coast Section individual tournament, scheduled to begin May 16 at Imperial Courts in Aptos.

Los Altos capped its El Camino Division season with a 4-3 loss to Fremont April 24. Daniel Fritsch and Alec Jenab prevailed at No. 1 doubles for the Eagles, who finished 6-6 in league.

Boys volleyball

St. Francis closed out the regular season with a sweep of Valley Christian Thursday. The visiting Lancers (10-1 WCAL, 26-2 overall) “had some strong performances from seniors Alex Biz, Nicolas Hammer and Curtis Reitmeir,” coach Jonah Carson said.

Boys lacrosse

Mountain View lost more than a game April 24 – it also lost Cyrus Cowley to injury.

Coach Bill Kurz said Cowley, “our faceoff expert and one of the top midfielders” on the team, suffered a broken collarbone in the Spartans’ 10-3 loss at St. Francis.

The Lancers led 6-0 at halftime, but Mountain View’s “offense came to life in the second half,” Kurz said. Steven Rutledge made two goals and Jake Roberts scored the other.

The Spartans, who also fell Friday at Palo Alto, are 8-4 in the SCVAL De Anza Division.

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