In one of the marquee matchups of Big Game Thursday No. 8 Aliso Niguel traveled to No. 8 San Clemente for the Wolverines third consecutive league road game. The Tritons, with a 4-1 record in April, were looking to ride their momentum into the playoffs. The Wolverines meanwhile were looking to get back on track after losing two consecutive league games. In both games the Wolverines learned the hard way that it takes 48 minutes of good play to win in the SCL; three quarters does not cut it in this league.
Emotions were high for the Tritons, who were celebrating Senior Night, and all fingers pointed to them being able to square up the season series with the Wolverines.
The first quarter started quickly with the Wolverines reeling off 4 quick goals, with one being a magical goal by Adrenaline All American senior attack Jonah Rinaldi (5g). The Tritons were able to fight back and get within 2 goals, ending the first quarter score at 4-2.
The Tritons, fueled by sophomores Matt Keaney (4g,1a) and Nick Lemus (2g,2a), opened up their offense a bit more in the second period and put up three goals. It was not enough to close the gap though and the half ended with the Wolverines holding a 8-5 lead.
The San Clemente defense held the Wolverines in check for most of the the third quarter but the Wolverines expanded their lead to 10-6 with two late goals. The fourth quarter was a track meet, with the Wolverines adding expanding their lead by one. Rinaldi’s constant ride began to wear down the Tritons’ clearing game and the Wolverines celebrated the 14-9 win.
Tritons goalie Austin Boyer (10 saves) tried everything to slow down the high octane offense of Aliso as he fought through an injured arm, but in the end it was not enough.
With the win, the Wolverines completed a season sweep of the Tritons and state their case for a better position in the polls.
Other top performers:
Mid Matt Jones (2g)
Attack/Mid Garrett Huong (1g,2a)
Face off Specialist Michael Marino (2g)
Branden Wilson (1g,2a)