It was only a nonleague clash between two quality girls lacrosse teams, but Menlo School-Atherton and host Palo Alto played like it was the championship of the Peninsula. The Knights edged the Vikings 9-8 in a taut contest on Wednesday.
“It was a battle from the beginning,” Menlo coach Jen Lee said. Sophomore middie defender Nina Kelty fired one in to put Paly on the board first in the opening 44 seconds. Sixteen seconds later, Menlo center Michaela Michael, a sophomore, answered with a goal on a feed from junior middie attacker Elyse Adler.
Up 3-1 with 17:29 to play in the first half, Paly tied it 3-all with unassisted goals from Kelty and senior Emily Benatar. Menlo added a goal from junior middie attacker Sophie Sheeline on a free position shot, then again off a give-and-go sequence from sophomore attacker Brooke Bullington to sophomore middie Ali Kim. With 2:26 to go before the half, Kimmie Flather put in her first of three goals to finish the first half with Menlo leading 5-4. Following the halftime break, the fast pace continued with Paly challenging again in the opening minutes, tying the game again at 5-all. The lead shifted in Paly’s direction when they scored their sixth goal with 12:13 to play. Menlo answered one minute, 10 seconds later for 6-all. This time, the free-position shot was executed by Kim. Menlo went up 7-6, then Paly tied it 7-all.