A Bloody Battle: Menlo Girls Varsity Soccer Ties SHP 1-1


Sophia Artandi

As Espinosa headed in the game-tying goal, she split her lip against the head of an SHP defender. “Immediately, I was worried about my teeth. But everyone said ‘no, no you have all your teeth,’ so I just spit out blood and then went back in the game,” Espinosa said. Staff Photo: Sophia Artandi.

Chase Hurwitz, Sports Editor

The Menlo varsity girls soccer team entered their game against Sacred Heart Prep on Feb. 3, hoping to redeem the varsity boys basketball team who lost badly to the Gators only two days prior. Coming off a blowout 8-1 victory against Castilleja on Feb. 1, the team felt confident in their chances. “We’re definitely confident. We’re not going to take an L,” senior Ashley Grady said.

Entering the game, the Gators and Knights were tied for first place in the West Bay Athletic League Foothill Division, both boasting a 5-1 league record. In this matchup, neither team was able to take sole possession of first place. The game ended in a draw 1-1.

Most of the game for Menlo was spent trying to catch up. SHP scored their first and only goal in the 16th minute with a lob shot from outside of the penalty box. Going forward, both teams had chances on goal, but neither was able to capitalize. 

With the final minutes of the game winding down, it seemed as though SHP would hold on to their small lead for the win. However, with only two minutes left in the game, senior Carolina Espinosa headed in a goal off a corner kick served by sophomore Dorothy Zhang, tying the game 1-1.

The Menlo players swarmed Espinosa to celebrate the last-minute, game-tying goal. However, Espinosa lay on the ground covering her face. The Knights athletic trainer was called over to assist. After only a few seconds, the senior forward got up on her own and ran off the field to her sideline.

As she went up for the header, Espinosa hit her mouth on a SHP defender’s head, splitting her lip. “I saw the defender right as I was going in. I didn’t even think I hit the ball — I just remember hitting the girl,” Espinosa said.

Despite the blood that filled her mouth, Espinosa was all smiles as she was treated on the sideline. “Immediately, I was worried about my teeth. But everyone said ‘no, no you have all your teeth,’ so I just spit out blood and then went back in the game,” the senior said. After the game, Espinosa got stitches in her upper lip.