Junior Katie Wischer came within an inch or two of putting the San Mateo High School girls' soccer team into the thick of the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division race Wednesday.
The Bearcats, instead, were saddled with a frustrating loss, their first in league play, 1-0, to host Carlmont High.
San Mateo (1-1-2 in the PAL, 2-3-5 overall) can still make things interesting when it hosts PAL powerhouse Woodside at 3 p.m. Friday. The Wildcats (3-0-1, 8-0-2) are one of the top teams in the Central Coast Section.
The Bearcats sustained their first overall loss in over a month. San Mateo was 1-0-5 over its previous six matches, allowing just five goals in that span.
Wischer, whose older sister Shannon Wischer was on the team last year, found herself with a good scoring opportunity with just under 10 minutes to play. Carlmont goalie Emily Stambaugh came out to challenge and just did get her hands on it, preventing the potential tying score.
Sophomore Kayla Fong recorded the only goal of the game, scoring in the 25th minute with an assist from senior Carolyn Donohoe.
While the Scots (3-0-1, 7-1-2) continued to apply pressure, the Bearcats' defense was up to the task. Goalie Kitty Qu made a couple of nice saves and got help from Jen Slowy, junior Brenda Flores and Roz Jeffries among others.
Carlmont and Woodside are tied for first place while Burlingame is in third. The Bearcats are in fourth place, three points behind the co-leaders.