The final week of the girls soccer regular season in the Monterey Bay League is setting up to be a wild one.
And it’s going to be a race to the finish in both the Gabilan Division and Pacific Division, where three teams in each group have a chance to win a division title.
Alvarez set up the stretch drive in the Pacific Division by defeating Monterey, who previously was all alone in first place, 2-0 on Friday afternoon. About 25 miles away, Notre Dame defeated North Salinas 2-0.
With those results, Alvarez, Monterey and Notre Dame all have two losses in the Pacific Division. Monterey is at 9-2, while Alvarez and Notre Dame are 8-2.
Monterey had a chance to lock up a share of the division title with a win against Alvarez. But it had trouble early on getting some rhythm going against the Eagles, who cranked up the pressure.
The Monterey defense stopped several Alvarez chances, but Alvarez finally broke through in the 30th minute.
The Eagles had a shot on goal that was cleared by the Monterey defenders back to midfield. An Alvarez player corralled the ball there and immediately fired the ball back deep inside Monterey territory. The ball landed a couple of yards to the right of Jasmine Vargas, who darted by a Monterey defender and fired the ball in before anyone could get set, giving Alvarez a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Alvarez had a free kick from about 40 yards away. The ball hit the crossbar.
Alvarez added to its lead in the 56th minute. It got a corner kick, and Victoria Barrera took the kicking duties. She sent the ball curving toward the goal, and it was deflected in.
Monterey did all it could to get back into the contest. It got a free kick in the 63rd minute from about 35 yards away. But it went right to freshman Goalkeeper Lexandra Retamoza.
Thirteen minutes later, Monterey got a corner kick, and the ball was booted right to Retamoza, who secured it again.
Retamoza and Karina Valenzuela each played a half as goalkeeper in preserving the win.
The win was Alvarez’s third in a row, all shutouts.
Meanwhile, at North Salinas, McKenna Blean and Ashin Gomez both scored in Notre Dame’s victory over the Vikings.
Notre Dame won for the fourth consecutive time, and three of the four have been by shutouts.
So it will come down to the final week to decide the division.
Notre Dame returns to action on Wednesday at North Monterey County before finishing the regular season two days after that at home against Monterey.
Alvarez travels to Seaside on Wednesday before facing North Salinas at home in its regular season finale.
Unlike the previous two teams, Monterey only has one game remaining, the battle against Notre Dame in less than one week.
Salinas 1, Christopher 1: At Salinas, the Cowboys finished even with the Cougars to remain in the hunt for the Gabilan Division championship.
The first score came in the 68th minute when Valeria Tellez scored on an assist by Alicia Cuevas. Three minutes later, Christopher tied the game.
Salinas goalkeeper Sophia Tellez made four saves.
With the tie, Salinas moved to 11-4-1 overall and 7-2-1 in the MBL Gabilan Division.
Salinas returns to action Wednesday at Alisal before finishing up the regular season against first-place Hollister.
Alisal 3, Watsonville 0: At Alisal, where the Trojans shut out the Wildcatz to keep their MBL Gabilan Division championship hopes alive.
Up 3-0 at the half, Alisal posted goals from Gabriela Perez, Oralia Perez and Maritsa Loya, with assists from Brianna Aguilar and Dianna Lopez.
The Trojans (7-3) on Wednesday host Salinas before ending the regular season at Gilroy.
King City 1, Stevenson 1: At King City, the Mustangs rallied to pull even with the Pirates.
Stevenson scored in the 25th minute. King City then answered with a goal from Mayra Luna.
The tie ended a five-game losing streak for King City.