Holden Evans ( 6 goals, 2 assists) and Jared Friesen (5g, 1a) combined for 11 goals to lead No. 5 Trabuco Hills to a 15-14 victory over No. 6 San Clemente Tuesday night at Trabuco Hills. Both teams entered the game undefeated in South Coast League play and most expect that one or the other will win the league championship this year, so the game was played with a must-win intensity by both teams. .
The game lived up to the hype right from the start with Trabuco Hills scoring first goal and San Clemente answering with four unanswered goals. Trabuco was finally able to stop the onslaught with a goal of their own. and the first quarter ended with the Tritons leading 6-5.
The second quarter started with San Clemente showing signs of pulling away as Trabuco Hills had difficulty dealing with the Tritons numerous scoring threats. Branden Wilson (4 points), Liam Nelson (4 points), freshman Jack Rogers (4 points), and Ryan Keany (3 points) were all giving the Mustang defense fits and the Tritons opened up a 10-6 at one point early in the second quarter.
However, Evans, Friesen, and Tyler Payne (2g) kept things close by scoring eight of Trabuco’s nine first half goals. Trabuco went on a mini run of their own scoring 3 unanswered goals within the last two minutes to end the half 11-9 in favor of the Tritons.
The third quarter began right where the first half left off with both teams exchanging goals. Trabuco Hills was able to outscore San Clemente 4-3 in the third quarter behind goals from Jason Kauo (1g, 2a), Friesen and Evans. The third quarter finished with the Tritons ahead 14-13.
The fourth quarter was a hard fought affair just like the first three. And this proved to be an instant classic. The Trabuco Hill defensive trio of Andy Alvarez, Justin Paget and Josh Burdette came up with numerous takeaways, clears and ground balls on the face off wing to fuel the Mustangs comeback.
The back and forth offensive affair was going to be decided by which ever team could get a stop and have the ball last. Friesen tied the game at 14-14 off a feed from teammate AJ Switzer (3a). The Mustangs were able to get a few more stops and put the game away when Kauo fed Evans for the what turned out to be the game winning goal at 15-14 Mustangs. Trabuco Hills maintained possession of the ball for the last 2:30 minutes of the game and walked away in sole possession of first place in the South Coast League.
The win pushed Trabuco Hills’ record to 9-2 overall and 4-0 in league and was their second win against a top 10 ranked opponent. Trabuco Hills travels to El Toro on Friday and hosts Corona Del Mar on Saturday. San Clemente travels to Dana Hills on Thursday.