Soccer Kicks Off

Sophomore midfielder Isabel Gill dribbles through a crowded penalty area in Palisades’ 7-0 league victory over University on Monday at Stadium by the Sea.
Photo: Steve Galluzzo

Pali High Boys and Girls Squads Cruise to Western League Victories

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

The Palisades High girls soccer team fell one win short of its first-ever City Section title last wintter and losing 2-1 in the Division I final to El Camino Real was all the motivation the Dolphins needed coming into the 2018-19 campaign.    

Palisades is hungrier than ever to get back to the title game and the return of senior midfielder Daniela Flores (who didn’t play for the Dolphins last season), they are once again the favorites in the Western League and serious City contenders. Flores had nine goals and five assists in 14 games as a sophomore.

Senior defender and team captain Frankie Van Norden anchors a back line that should be one of the best in the City, midfielders Sadie Holt and Georgia Calvert will be key playmakers and forwards Jordan Darrow, Bailey Ball and Kayden Graves figure to be the finishers on offense.

Palisades netted five goals in the first half and four more in the second half of its 9-0 league and season-opening triumph over Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies last Wednesday and edged Taft 1-0 last Friday to pick up a key nonleague victory at Stadium by the Sea. The Dolphins were back at home Monday and shut out University 7-0, erupting for six goals in the second half.    

Palisades traveled to Venice on Wednesday and  hosts Fairfax on Friday.     

Palisades’ boys team is also off to a fast start with road victories over LACES (3-0) and University (3-1) to begin league play. The Wildcats handed Palisades its only loss in league last winter with a 2-1 win at Stadium by the Sea,

The Dolphins won a scrimmage against Malibu last week, hosted Venice on Wednesday and travel to Fairfax tomorrow.

Palisades finished 15-3-2 overall and 9-1-2 in league last season, falling 3-1 in the City Division I quarterfinals to eventual-champion El Camino Real. The Dolphins captured their first City championship in program history in 2015-16, beating Granada Hills in overtime in the finals in the rain at Valley College.