DanvilleSanRamon.com

Sports - February 16, 2007

Monte Vista boys and girls clinch EBAL soccer titles

Both teams headed to North Coast Section championships

by Rachel McMurdie

Andre Cuadra had one goal and one assist in Monte Vista's 2-0 win against San Ramon Valley last Friday on the soccer field. The win put the undefeated boys Mustangs in favorable position for the No. 1 seed in the NCS 3-A bracket. Monte Vista, the defending NCS champions, will host the winner of No. 8 seed Livermore (14-7-1) vs. No. 9 seed Richmond (17-4-1) in a quarterfinal match at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Mustangs defeated Livermore earlier in the week, 1-0, securing the East Bay Athletic League title. The game- and title-winning goal came with just 15 minutes left to play. Monte Vista's Jack Griffin aimed a low-lying free kick toward the goal. Cowboys' goalie Jarrod Belsick deflected the shot, but Monte Vista's Morgan Oliver was there to put away the rebound.

Last year, the Mustangs defeated the Richmond Oilers for the section title.

Friday's match-up made the difference in last weekends' seeding decisions. Monte Vista, virtually tied with De La Salle (17-6-1), beat the Amador Valley Dons out of the No. 1 seed spot. The Dons lost their pre-season opener to San Ramon Valley in a non-league game. The Mustangs were 1-0-1 against the Wolves this season.

Girls soccer

Monte Vista girls locked up the battle over the EBAL title with a 1-0 win over hometown rivals San Ramon Valley. The Mustangs were tied in league standings with Pleasanton's Foothill High before the game. A tied match Friday would have meant a shared co-title. But instead, the Mustangs (13-3-7, 7-1-4 EBAL) put the championships firmly in their own hands with a win.

The game's only goal was a corner kick a little over two minutes into the second half. Shot by Mustang Katie Monannam, the ball slid into the goal but not without contest from the Wolves' keeper Camy Senemar. It was the Mustangs' second one-goal win over the Wolves this season.

San Ramon Valley came out strong the first half. Wolves' player Gabby Parisella took several shots on the Monte Vista goal. But Monte Vista keeper Taylor Gonzales, who was reportedly playing with a broken wrist, proved to be an impenetrable force and helped the Mustangs to their win.

Boys basketball

After trailing 10-14 going into the second quarter, Monte Vista boys basketball took a 68-37 win over Granada in a league game last Friday. The Mustangs (21-2, 8-1 EBAL) kept Granada to just 23 points total during the last three quarters of the game, while they themselves sunk 20 points in the second quarter alone. Ryan Whalen led the Mustangs with 14 points. Drew McCallister and Cam Fenley had 13 each, and Brian Barbour added 11.

The San Ramon Wolves went home empty-handed Friday despite three players in double digits and an 11-point lead at the half. Amador Valley (13-9, 4-5 EBAL) outscored the Wolves 21-10 in the third quarter to take the lead, and later, the 66-61 win. The Wolves (5-4 EBAL) were lead by Joey Fuca who had 24 points. Teammates Dan Daviess had 11 points and Vai Schierholtz added 18.

Girls basketball

Monte Vista girls earned their 23rd win of the season on the basketball court last Friday in a 51-34 game against Granada. But it didn't shake off the sting of their only loss this season, two days earlier, to Amador Valley.

On Wednesday, the Mustangs (23-1-0, 9-1-0 EBAL) rallied against the Dons, but a strong offense kept the win out of reach as Monte Vista trailed in the fourth, losing 37-44.

The Mustangs rebounded Friday. Trailing 13-12 at the end of the first quarter, the girls held a 24-19 lead at the half. The win came after a 16-8 Mustang run in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Niveen Rasheed had 13 points to lead Monte Vista.

San Ramon Valley (7-15-0, 1-8-0) girls, after winning 68-47 over Livermore, lost to Amador Valley last Friday, 46-54.

Beyond high school

High school athletes have signed letters of intent to play in college next year.

Sam Finlayson, last season's EBAL Most Valuable Player, signed up with Stanford water polo. Finlayson's brother, Peter, will be a senior on the Stanford team next season. Goalkeeper Elliot Arthur, who helped lead the Wolves to the NCS semifinals, signed with UC Davis' water polo team. Across town, Charlie Steffens of Monte Vista Boys water polo signed with UC Berkeley.

Several girls soccer players also made commitments to college teams. San Ramon Valley's Chelsea Gallegos signed with Portland State; Gabby Parisella signed with Loyola Marymount University; Bria Park signed with Cal Poly; Aubree Southwick signed with San Diego State. Three Monte Vista players also signed with college teams: Shannon Lacy committed to USC; Kate Monannam to UC Santa Barbara.

Chris Beville, of Monte Vista Boys soccer team, committed to UC Davis.

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