Los Altos stuck with the plan it used all season -- strong team defense. And it worked.
The Eagles held off second-seeded St. Francis 1-0 to win the Central Coast Section Division II championship Saturday at Valley Christian High.
This was just one more surprising win for fifth-seeded Los Altos (14-5-3), which defeated Archbishop Mitty -- ranked No. 3 nationally by MaxPreps -- in Wednesday's semifinals.
"It seems like we've been considered underdogs all season," said Los Altos coach Armando Luna. "Now we've proved everyone wrong."
Allie Crum scored the winner seven minutes into the game, threading the ball between two defenders on a free kick.
"Allie has been clutch all season," said Luna. "She had the game-winner against Los Gatos, Mountain View and Mitty."
One of the keys to the Los Altos defense was freshman goalkeeper Carrie Wendelken, who was voted most valuable goalie by the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League. She did it all -- diving, leaping, and colliding with a St. Francis (18-4-1) player to stop everything that came her way.
"I wanted to cry tears of joy," said Wendelken. "We showed it all out there. No one expected Los Altos to be in the finals. We were happy (after we beat Mitty), but we weren't satisfied."
Santa Teresa 0, Woodside 0: Tears fell as the girls were waiting for the trophy ceremony. Not tears of joy or sadness.
"The girls who were crying were the seniors," said Santa Teresa coach Richard Spencer. "They dreamt that they would win their last soccer game. The girls worked so hard and definitely deserved it. This is not the ideal way to send the senior class out, but it was a good game. It was a positive result, even though it doesn't feel like it right now."
"I told the girls we are co-champs," said Woodside coach Jose Navarrete. "It says champion after it. I'm happy. Both teams were good, and the results showed."
This was an especially odd ending for Santa Teresa (13-6-2), which faced adversity throughout the playoffs with one of its top players, sophomore Tegan McGrady, suspended for participating in two U.S. national youth matches that were not approved by the CIF.
The King's Academy 1, Harbor 0: The King's Academy scored early and held on to earn the Division III championship at Valley Christian. Seeded No. 13, no one expected it to get this far.
"It was the first time qualifying for the CCS, people were excited and this showed on the field completely," said The King's Academy coach Kendra Randolph.
Senior Danyelle Allen scored the lone goal. Harbor (9-7-6) fought the full 80 minutes.
For more on high school sports, see the After School blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/highschools.