Staying on Top

Palisades’ Kyle Roberts dribbles through the Hamilton defense during last Wednesday’s Western League showdown. The Dolphins prevailed 1-0 to take over first place.
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Pali High Boys Soccer Stuns Yankees to Retain Western League Crown 

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

All streaks must come to an end, but the Palisades High boys soccer team made sure its  run of Western League crowns continued by shutting out host Westchester 3-0 last Friday to clinch its 11th straight title and first under coach Marvin Lemus.     The previous 10 in a row were achieved under Dave Suarez, now an assistant, who headed the program for 11 seasons before handing the reins over to Lemus after the team’s City semifinal loss last winter.    

Back-to-back middle of the season home losses to Hamilton and Westchester put the Dolphins’ league streak in jeopardy, but they won eight straight games to end the regular season, including a 1-0 triumph at Hamilton, where Shane Thomas scored the only goal on a penalty kick with 12 minutes left.

Now the Dolphins (12-4) head back to the Division I playoffs as league champions, although they are seeded 16th    and host No. 17 Canoga Park in the first round today at 3 p.m.

“I’m not sure what happened with the seeding but you can’t lose to Westchester and think there’ll be no consequences,” Suarez said.

Should Palisades win it will travel to No. 1 Marquez in the quarterfinals next Wednesday.

Palisades’ girls team is seeded No. 2 in Division I and hosts Grant or Van Nuys in the second round Friday at 3 p.m.