Menlo Varsity Girls Soccer Loses to Gators Despite Early Goal


Head coach Ross Ireland gives the Menlo varsity girls soccer team a halftime pep talk at a home match against Sacred Heart at Wunderlich Field on Thursday, Jan 13, 2022. The Knights scored an early goal in the first half, but their hopes for a win against the rival Gators was thwarted by a good second half for the Gators, which saw them win 2-1 against Menlo. Staff photo: Geoffrey Franc.

Geoffrey Franc, Staff Writer

On Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, the Menlo varsity girls soccer team played their Sacred Heart rivals in a late afternoon match that ended with a Gator victory of 2-1. 

Menlo got out to an early lead thanks to a junior Sasha Bernthal’s goal in the third minute. However, the Gators mounted a comeback in the second half when they scored their first goal of the afternoon from a penalty kick. “We started well but they came out stronger in the second half,” Bernthal said. “We missed a lot of chances, but we’ll come back better next time.”

“We struggled a bit with people playing in new positions and missing a key player in our backline,” said one of four team captains, Carolina Espinosa. “It was still a good game, but there’s definitely room for us to improve.”

Freshman Roya Rezaee believes that the peak performance of the team was near the end of the game after Espinosa was brought back on the field after a calf cramp. “I think we played physical in the last five minutes,” Rezaee said. “If we played that the whole game, we would’ve won.”

The win put the Gator’s record at 5-5-1, while the loss advances Menlo’s record at 5-4. The Knights play next at Seaside High School in Monterrey on Saturday, Jan. 15, before a home game against Notre Dame Belmont on Tuesday, Jan 18.