Carlmont High boys' soccer coach Jodi Beloff likes the way the second half of the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division season began Monday. She hopes to keep it going when the Scots host San Mateo in a 4 p.m. contest Wednesday.
That game will be for sole possession of first place. It will also hold a special meaning for Beloff, who is a San Mateo High grad and will be facing her nephew, Kent Turtletaub, a member of the Bearcats' boys soccer team.
"We opened the season with a loss to M-A and got that one back," Beloff said. "We tied with San Mateo, so we want to get that one back too."
Michel Gonzalez scored early and the Scots made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over host Menlo-Atherton.
All that separates Carlmont and San Mateo is one point.
"We did not play well the first time against them," Beloff said. "Starting the league season with a loss meant we had to battle back and that meant a number of things. The boys were ready to play and you have to give them credit to give what they gave atthe mid-point of the season."
The Scots stayed on the defensive even after taking the lead. Justin Harpster thought he may have scored the second goal but it was called back because of an offsides call.
"I felt like this was a team effort," Beloff said. "We went through a lot of subs and that's how I feel we need to do to get through the game."
In her third season on the varsity level (she spentthe two previous years coaching the frosh-soph), Beloff is building on success.
She took over the varsity late and was unable to schedule much of a preseason as a result. She learned quickly just how important it is to play a competitive nonleague schedule.
"It was rough," Beloff said. "We never really developed."
The Scots sat out the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs that season, but qualified last year, losing in the first round.
Beloff said Carlmont has its sights set on a better finish this time around.
"This team has individual skills they brought to the team," she said. "This is head and shoulders the best team I've coached here."
It doesn't stop with Gonzalez and Harpster either. Goalie Zack Wooster made several fine saves and was supported by the defensive line of Eric Smith, Ryan Wong, Justin Quan and Ryan Freeman.
"Those guys really kept us in it," Beloff said after Carlmont recorded its third consecutive shutout.
She also pointed out the play of midfielders Nick Monteiro and Luke Peterson as keys to the win.
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