Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - January 27, 2012

Sports Shorts

CLOSING IN . . . Two current and three former Stanford women's soccer players are a victory away from spending time next summer at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. Current students Teresa Noyola and Alina Garciamendez and Cardinal grads Rachel Buehler, Kelly O'Hara and Nicole Barnhart remain in contention for that trip, which will be determined on Friday in the semifinals of the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada. Buehler had a pair of assists for the U.S. Women's National Team in its 4-0 victory over Mexico on Tuesday in the Group B final. Noyola and Garciamendez play for Mexico. The USA earned the full nine points to win the group stage, posting a plus-31 goal differential while earning the right to face Group A runner-up Costa Rica in the semifinal on Friday at 5 p.m. Despite the loss to the U.S., Mexico still will play host Canada in the other semifinal on Friday, based on points. Canada topped Costa Rica, 5-1, on Monday to win Group A. The semifinal winners earn berths to the 2012 London Olympics.

OF LOCAL NOTE . . . Sacred Heart Prep volleyball teammates Jesse Ebner and Sarah Daschbach will be on opposite sides of the net next fall when they continue their careers in the Ivy League. Ebner will play for Yale while Daschbach will become a member of the Princeton Tigers. Ebner and Daschbach were the leaders of a Sacred Heart Prep team that won back-to-back Central Coast Section Division IV championships in 2009 and 2010. They helped the Gators win the 2010 NorCal Division IV championship and advance to the CIF Division IV state championship match in their junior year. The Gators reached the 2011 CCS Division IV finals, only to lose to Soquel. In the NorCal playoffs, SHP lost in five games to eventual state champion Union Mine (El Dorado) in the semifinals . . . Palo Alto's Vincent Zhou followed up his men's novice short program title with a gold-medal effort in the free skate on Monday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at HP Pavilion in San Jose. Zhou, 11, is the youngest of the 250 skaters competing this week and was making his debut at the championships. Zhou had a two-day total of 164.96 points after scoring 52.45 points in the short program on Sunday. His program included seven triple jumps.

COACHING CORNER . . . Palo Alto Knights Youth Football is seeking head and assistant coaches for the 2012 football season. Experienced in youth coaching and football knowledge is preferred. Contact: Mike Piha at mike@in2change.com

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