It took 158 minutes for the Palisades High boys’ varsity soccer team to score its first goal this season. But it was well worth the wait. Trailing 1-0 to Reseda with two minutes left on a rain-soaked field at Stadium by the Sea last Tuesday, the Dolphins lined up for a direct free kick 20 yards from the Regents’ goal and the resulting play produced what Palisades head coach Dave Williams later called ‘one of the best goals he’s ever seen his team score.’ Sophomore forward Osbaldo Garcia hooked a shot above Reseda’s five-man wall and into the left corner of the net to tie the score, 1-1, and the referee whistled the game over moments after the ensuing kickoff. Palisades, which played to a scoreless tie with Cleveland in its first game, hopes it will carry momentum from the goal through winter break because the Dolphins don’t play again until their Western League opener on January 12. ‘We ran two fakes by Michael [Larin] and Franchesco [Coco], then I followed them,’ Garcia said, describing his goal. ‘We’ve practiced that play over and over but I wasn’t sure it would work because their wall started moving towards me even before I kicked the ball. I was just trying to get it over them.’ Girls Soccer It didn’t take Pali’s women’s soccer team nearly as long to score its first goal. Senior captain Alex Michael tallied the Dolphins’ initial score 35 minutes into their season opener against Southern Section powerhouse Marymount High on December 2. Michael intercepted a passjust outside the penalty area and lofted a shot over the goalie’s head into the net for Pali’s only goal in a 4-1 loss. The Dolphins rebounded the following day, beating the host school, 2-0, in the first round of the El Segundo Tournament on first-half goals by Lucy Miller and Michael. Pali followed its first win with a 1-0 victory over Immaculate Heart. Miller re-directed a centering pass from teammate Sara Newman into the net for the only goal. Last Tuesday, the Dolphins took on Chatsworth’the team that eliminated Pali from the City playoffs last season’and lost 1-0 despite dominating play for most of the game. Last weekend, Palisades returned to the El Segundo Tournament and lost to Beverly Hills, 1-0, on a goal in the last two minutes, then lost by the same score to Chadwick in the third-place game. Despite three consecutive shutout losses, players remained confident in their ability to score. ‘All the games we lost we could just as easily have won,’ Michael said. ‘It’s not like any of those teams are better than us. We weren’t outplayed, we just couldn’t finish.’ Palisades (2-4) hosted Banning on Wednesday in its final tuneup before opening Western League play January 12 at Westchester. Girls Tennis Krista Slocum, the No. 1 player on Palisades High’s girls varsity tennis team, elected to play doubles at the All-City Individuals Tournament despite losing only one singles match all season. Partnered with Dolphin teammate Lauren Pugatch, Slocum proved she is just as good when she has a few more feet of real estate to work with. Pali’s top duo beat Kiri Inouye and Jenna Yoshikawa of Venice, 6-0, 6-3, on Monday in Encino to finish third out of 32 teams. Seeded No. 2, Slocum and Pugatch fell just short of reaching the championship match, losing 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to third-seeded Maria Cardenas and Julie D’Yachenko of Granada Hills in the semifinals. Boys Basketball Still playing without Georgia-Tech bound senior D’Andre Bell, the Dolphins (2-3) were undermanned and overmatched in last Wednesday’s 71-37 loss at Washington. Palisades faces Verbum Dei in the first round of the Top of the World Tournament at Cerritos College Friday at 7:30 p.m. Girls Basketball Palisades improved to 3-2 with a 45-40 victory over visiting Washington last Tuesday. The Dolphins travel to Chandler, Arizona, to play in the Tournament of Champions from Sunday to next Thursday.
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