News

Oaks' sophomore earns berth in NAIA cross country

Menlo College sophomore Jessica Marso highlighted the Oaks' showing at the California Pacific Conference Cross Country Championships this past weekend, finishing seventh in a field of 61 to qualify for the NAIA National Championships. Marso clocked 21:10 in the Rocklin 5K to secure the coveted spot. As a team, Menloi finished fifth out of eight squads.

"I couldn't be more excited for Jessica," said Menlo head coach Sean Weeks. "She has made the program, and the entire school, proud with a performance like this."

The Oaks placed four runners inside the Top 25, with senior Sherylyn Sabado, sophomore Hayley Heryford, and senior Jessica Weise following Marso to the finish line. Sabado was 18th (22:31), Heryford was 22nd (22:43) and Weise was 25th (23:05).

Menlo's final three runners, sophomore Emmeline Wang, and freshmen Michelle Edwards and Ansje Johanna Bol rounded out the Oaks' performance.

The NAIA National Championships is set for Nov. 17 in Vancouver, Wash.

Women's basketball

Just 24 hours after a 32-point win over No. 14 Corban to kick off its 2012-13 campaign, Menlo College was back at it, overwhelming a tough Concordia squad, 98-79, on Saturday. The 19-point win saw contributions from top to bottom, as four Oaks' reached double-digit point totals -- led by senior Lauren Adamek's 26 on an impressive 9-of-11 shooting from the field, and 8-of-9 from the free throw line.

"There's a lot to like about tonight's performance," Menlo coach Shannon Osbonre said shortly after the final buzzer. "I liked our explosiveness out there; I thought we did a good job of getting to the basket. We rebounded well, had nice ball movement, and I was excited about our free throw shooting."

Menlo knocked down 28-of-34 (82.4 percent) from the charity stripe, led by sophomore Jolise Limcaco's 9-of-10 clip. She finished with 19-points, three rebounds, and a game-high nine assists. Senior Sareen Ohanian had her second straight all-around game with 12 points, seven boards, six assists and four steals. Sophomore Laurel Donnenwirth led all players with eight rebounds, scoring nine points as well on 4-of-6 shooting.

Menlo will host NCAA Division II Notre Dame De Namur on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Men's basketball

Menlo's bid at upsetting the No. 23-ranked team in the nation eluded them Saturday evening, as Southern Oregon used a late bucket to snatch a 58-56 win from inside Haynes-Prim Pavilion.

With only 1.5 seconds left and the game knotted up at 56-56, the Raiders' Eric Thompson knocked down the game-winner from inside the lane to complete a late SOU comeback. Menlo's final attempt on the ensuing inbounds pass was halted, as Carlos Monroy had his three-quarter court shot blocked to seal the Oaks' fate.

Menlo's loss makes it four straight to begin the season.

Menlo's Keith Bowman led all players with 17-points, knocking down 6-of-12 from the field, while also leading the Oaks with six rebounds. Senior ChaRunn Jones was the only other Menlo player to eclipse the double-digit plateau in points, racking up 12 on 4-of-10 shooting, including three treys.

Football

Menlo potted the University of St. Francis 31 unanswered points, digging itself into too big of a hole that a 21-point fourth quarter couldn't overcome in a 31-21 loss in the frigid temperatures in Joliet, Ill., on Saturday night. The Oaks fell to 4-5 following their fourth straight loss.

Trailing by 31-0, the Oaks battled back. Senior quarterback Matt Pelesasa accounted for two of the three touchdowns, a three-yard rushing score five seconds into the final frame and then a 13-yard TD heave to senior Robert Adan with only 15 seconds left in the game. Junior Michael Alexander sandwiched a six-yard rushing TD in between the two Pelesasa scores, set up by a key 59-yard run by sophomore Jake Fohn to put the ball at the Saints' 6-yard line.

Fohn led Menlo's ground attack with a game-high 121 yards. Fohn averaged 7.1 yards per attempt in playing a pivotal role in helping the Oaks get their running game going again. Menlo ran the ball 54 times, rolling off 230-yards. The two teams combined for 499 rushing yards, and just 125 through the air.

The Oaks will close out the regular season on Saturday, a home game against Pacific Lutheran on Senior Day at noon.

Men's soccer

Thanks to a 4-0 win over Simpson University during Saturday's Senior Day tilt, Menlo completes its second straight undefeated Cal Pacific Conference campaign. The Oaks (8-0 in league) ran their Cal Pac win streak to 18 straight while finishing the regular season with a 12-3-3 mark.

"To win the conference last year and the division this year without a loss says a lot about our guys," said third-year Menlo coach Mike Keller. "I think that it shows how much the guys graduating this year turned the program around."

Three of the nine graduates that Keller referred to played pivotal roles in the blanking, starting with Hugo Conchas. After Menlo took a 1-0 lead into the break on Nicholas Krahnke's first collegiate goal, Conchas quickly doubled up the Oaks' advantage with his seventh goal of the season less than 10 minutes into the start of the second stanza. Fellow senior Alex Vukic assisted on the play, before Vukic did the scoring honors just two minutes later with a goal of his own to push Menlo's lead to 3-0.

The final Menlo goal began from the unlikeliest of sources, goalkeeper Alex Palomarez. After making a save, the Fremont native blasted one across the entire length of the field and into the waiting shoe tops of junior Andrew Cota, who took care of the rest for his 19th goal of the season. Palomarez was credited with his first career assist, and after the match he was enthusiastic about his team's second straight undefeated conference run.

"It shows that we are only making progress from year to year, which means good things for the future of Menlo," remarked Palomarez.

As far as the prospects on toeing the turf for the final time at Wunderlich: "It was pretty emotional," Palomarez said. "I was putting it all out there for my teammates and they were doing the same for me. We had a good time out there today and that is how we got the win and the shutout."

Menlo will now turn their attention to the California Pacific Conference Postseason Tournament, set for this weekend in Vallejo.†

Women's soccer

Menlo closed out the regular season on a high note, blanking Simpson University, 3-0, on Senior Day at Wunderlich Field on Saturday. The Oaks' suffocating defense not only held the Red Hawks without a goal, they held them without a shot throughout the course of 90 minutes.

The win caps off a 12-5 season, with a a 3-3 Cal Pac mark. Menlo produced seven more victories this season than it had in 2011.

Junior Natalie Ingram led the charge from an offensive standpoint, finding the back of the net on two separate occasions for her team-leading 15th and 16th goals of the year. Menlo added to its 2-0 advantage as junior Tiare Fuentes earned her second goal of the season in the 79th minute.

Menlo next will travel to Southern California for the California Pacific Postseason Tournament. The Oaks will clash with William Jessup for the third time this season, on Friday, in a do-or-die match for a spot in the tournament championship match.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo Athletics

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