The top girls soccer teams in the Monterey Bay League Pacific Division are not separated by much.
That’s what made Notre Dame High’s 4-2 win over Alvarez huge on Wednesday evening.
With the win, Notre Dame improved to 6-2 in the division and 11-4-1 overall. The Spirits leapfrogged the Eagles, who were in second with one less loss entering the game. Alvarez is now 5-2 in the division and 9-4-2 overall.
It was a definite boost for Notre Dame, which won its second consecutive game following a loss to Monterey a week ago.
The Spirits were a ball of fire in the cold new stadium, pressuring Alvarez early. In the first 23 minutes, Notre Dame went ahead 3-0.
Meghan Paulo got Notre Dame on the board first in the 13th minute. Marianna Burns took a long pass from Paulo and fired a shot on goal at the Alvarez goalkeeper, who then bobbled the ball. Paulo raced in and put the ball into the goal, giving Notre Dame a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Burns let one rip from almost 40 yards away, and the ball found the back of the net.
Notre Dame was not done. In the 23rd minute, a shot on goal from the right side aiming toward the left of the goal was not cleared out as the ball went to the left side and Jackie Tarsitano went low with the kick. The ball hit the right post and pinballed in.
Despite going down by three, Alvarez continued to push the tempo, getting several shots on goal soon after. In the 35th minute, the Eagles picked up their first tally. Jasmine Vargas got the ball in traffic and fired the ball past everyone.
Vargas scored both of Alvarez’s goals. She also got a goal in the 80th minute on a pass following a free kick. That, too, was with several players surrounding her. Clarissa Amezcua was credited with the assist.
Notre Dame’s Lauryn Nimis put the Spirits ahead 4-1 when she put back a missed shot on goal.
The loss ended Alvarez’s four-game winning streak. The Eagles will try to bounce back on Friday against North Monterey County.
Notre Dame next faces Seaside in one week.
–North County 4, Seaside 0: At North County, Kassandra Lopez, on an assist from Arianna Garcia, scored two minutes into the match to get the Condors going right from the start.
Graciela Mares had two goals, Kathy Marquez had two assists and Maria Ramirez added the fourth goal.
North County, 5-3 in league, visits Alvarez on Friday.
–Carmel 2, Stevenson 0: Brooke Vierra scored both goals — one in each half — as the Padres blanked the Pirates in a MTAL match.
Gaby Lahit had 13 saves in goal for Carmel while Elisa Gonzalez-Smith and Lauren Tracy were praised for their solid midfield control.
Carmel is 4-5-1 in league and 5-9-2 overall.
Alisal 2, Pajaro Valley 0: At Watsonville, the Trojans picked up another shutout, blanking the Grizzlies.
Brittany Perez made six saves as Alisal goalkeeper in preserving Alisal’s 11th shutout of the season.
Brianna Aguilar and Gabriela Perez each scored a goal in the Trojans’ win. Brenda Zamudio had an assist.
Alisal travels to Gilroy on Friday to play Christopher.
Pacific Grove 3, Greenfield 2: At Greenfield, a goal in the 77th minute sparked the Breakers to a victory over the Bruins, exacting revenge from an earlier-season late-score loss.
Greenfield had several chances at a game-tying goal but was repeatedly denied.
Alicia Montanez scored both of Greenfield’s goals.
The Bruins will try to bounce back Friday against MTAL leader Santa Catalina.
Santa Catalina 7, Gonzales 1: At Gonzales, the Cougars remained unbeaten in the MTAL by defeating the Spartans.
Santa Catalina wasted no time scoring, as Daisy Villegas scored 10 seconds into the game. She finished with two goals and one assist.
Allie Aiello finished with two goals and two assists. Sammy Mudd tallied a goal and two assist, Brooke Butterworth and Sophia White each scored one goal, and Madi Long had two assists.
Santa Catalina faces Greenfield on Friday.
–Carmel 1, Stevenson 1: At Stevenson, Daniel Ceto scored the tying goal for Carmel in the second half on an assist from Andrew Good.
The Padres host Pacific Grove on Friday.
Gonzales 5, York 0: At Gonzales, the Spartans received goals from four different players in the win over the Falcons.
Gonzales went into the break leading 2-0.
Luis Hernandez finished with two goals, while Rolando Valdez, Angel Gallardo and Arturo Valdez each scored one goal.
Gonzales plays King City on Friday.
Soledad 7, King City 0: At Soledad, the Aztecs remained the last unbeaten boys team in the county by shutting out the Mustangs.
Fabian Guzman, Michael Sanchez and Marco Leal all scored two goals for Soledad. Miguel Arroyo scored one goal.
The win boosted Soledad to 14-0-2 overall and 9-0-1 in the MTAL.
The Aztecs travel to Stevenson on Friday.