No. 7 Trabuco Hills Mustangs traveled north on Thursday to face No. 2 Foothill Knights in the second round of the 2016 playoffs. The game was an intriguing rematch of an early season meeting that Foothill won 8-7. The winners would advance to the County semi-finals. The Knights have never had a season in which they did not get at least as far as the County semi-finals. The Mustangs were looking to get their for the first time.
This game proved early it was going to be another tightly contested affair when the two teams traded goals to start the game. Foothill’s The seniors got things started. Foothill’s Cole Falbo put in an unassisted goal before the Mustangs’ John Kauo evened things out with an unassisted goal of his own a few possessions later. Then the youngsters got in on the the act. Freshman Holden Evans gave Trabuco their first lead on a goal with an assist from freshman Jason Kauo.
Foothill sophomore Josh Fox evened the game when he scored off a pass from sophomore Ellis Geis. The back and forth continued as Trabuco’s Holden Evans scored to regain the lead. The ensuing face off lead to a mad scramble and a ground ball that was eventually scooped up by Geis who finished the play with a behind the back goal that was MaxLaxOC top play worthy. The Knights Matt Harris capped the first quarter scoring at 4-3.
The paced slowed in the second quarter with Foothill getting goals from Geis, Harris and Falbo. The Mustangs answered with goals from John Kauo on an assist from Billy Barron. The first half ended 6-4 advantage Foothill.
The third quarter was more of a chess match than a lacrosse game. Both teams traded offensive possessions only to be denied by stellar defense on both ends. The quarter was almost scoreless until Foothill’s Kevin Kodzis buried a shot with under a minute left. The third quarter ended with both Foothill and Trabuco Hills players being penalized for illegal sticks.
The Knights looked to be putting the game away wary in the fourth quarter with goals from Kodzis and Steven Oberly on an assist from Falbo to pull ahead 9-4. Trabuco Hills displayed their gritty nature when Barron scored and Harrison Evans added two more goals (one off of an assist from his brother Holden) to bring the Mustangs within two. The Mustangs’ fought hard, however their rally was just a bit too late. The Knights held strong and the game ended with a final score of 9-7.
Foothill moves on to face the St Margaret’s Tartan on Saturday.