Trabuco Hills got the better of Aliso Niguel in Thursday night’s highly anticipated matchup between the two hard charging up-and-comers of Orange County lacrosse. The Wolverines, riding on the benefits of Michael Marino’s (Colorado Mesa) faceoff prowess, took a 7-6 edge into halftime. The second half though belonged to the Mustangs. The defense, led by Noah Cook (4 ground balls and 3 caused turnovers) and Kyle Yano (3 GBs), got stingy and held Aliso Niguel to just one second half goal while junior Wyatt Koudelka and friends found the back of the net five times for an 11-7 Trabuco victory.
The offense was sparked by Koudelka who led all scorers with 4 goals including a highlight reel interception of a clearing pass that he converted into his fourth goal of the night. The other Mustangs to contribute on offense were Harrison Evans (3g, 1a), Andrew Blume (2g, 1a), Jason Kauo (1g), John Kauo (1g) and Billy Barron (1a).
Trabuco came into the game determined to shutdown Aliso’s most explosive weapon senior attack Jonah Rinaldi (1g, 1a), and they did it more effectively than any other opponent this year. When asked about the keys to the win over the Wolverines, Coach Johnny Rodriguez gave credit to the defensive effort, “ we came into this game with a game plan to shut down their most potent offensive weapons and we did just that. The boys stuck to it even though it felt uncomfortable at first and I give them credit for that.”
Aliso Niguel senior goalie Austin Stahl kept his team in the game with 21 saves including a few worthy of Sports Center.
Next up for the Mustangs (7-1; 1-1) are Capo Valley (3-4; 0-1) and Tesoro (2-6; 1-1) on Tuesday and Friday, respectively. The Wolverines (5-3; 1-1) is San Clemente (2-5; 1-0) on Tuesday and St. Margaret’s (9-1) on Thursday