The Mission Viejo Lady Diablos gave their upperclassmen leaders the best gift a team could give on Senior Night: a win.
The Diablos defeated the El Toro Chargers in convincing fashion at home. Mission junior Samantha Leyds opened the game with a quick goal assisted by junior Lauren Robinson. Although Charger junior Jade Shearan answered back with a score, the Diablos would hold El Toro to one goal for the first ten minutes of the opening half.
By the time junior Emily Lackey scored for the Chargers, sophomore Maryn Macha, senior Maddie Mirth, and Robinson had scored enough to give Mission a lead 6-2. As the Mission goals piled on, Lackey and senior Emma Kirker persevered, scoring off several eight-meter shots to keep El Toro alive. The score was 9-6 Mission at halftime.
Senior Megan Bremmer scored the first goal of the second half for El Toro, and it seemed the Chargers still had a chance. But Leyds shut down hope of a comeback rally by scoring several more Mission points, mostly unassisted. Add a few unfortunate yellow cards and an unbeatable two-man game between Diablos Robinson and junior Marissa Meissner, and it soon became apparent that El Toro was no longer in it.
The Chargers pressed on through minor injuries, back-to-back Mission goals, and debatable referee calls to tough it out, mostly on defense, for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, they could not stop the bleeding. The Diablos played keep away for the last minute’s possession of the ball and won the game 17-9.
“Unsuccessful transitions,” were a crucial factor to the Charger loss, according to Head Coach Allie Kyte. The Chargers were certainly unlucky with passing on field. “Our passes simply weren’t connecting,” said Kyte.
Mission was significantly stronger with draw control as well. The Diablos seemed unbeatable, winning a majority of draws taken with ease.
Mission Viejo Assistant Offensive Coach Jessie Papageorge’s says the girls had “great teamwork and communication, kept their composure, and maintained sportsmanship.” She felt proud of her team, judging by how “they had struggled team-wise in the past.”
“They’re not a first or second half kind of team. They’re a full game kind of team,” said Papageorge’s.
The Diablos take on San Clemente on May 1, and the Chargers will be out to redeem themselves against Tesoro on April 26.
–MaxLaxOC.com staff report