Braden King’s Fourth Quarter Pair Makes the Difference

No. 7 Tesoro travelled to the Orange County capital city to face No. 19 Mater Dei in the last regular season game for both teams. The Titans required fourth quarter goals from Braden King to survive a scare and escape with a 7-6 win.  The upset-minded Monarchs came into the game with a deceiving 5-11 record and the added motivation hat a strong performance against a Top 10 team could persuade the coaches and selection committee to leapfrog them into a playoff spot.

Mater Dei’s defense has started to gel in April, holding all but one of their opponents (Trabuco Hills) to single digits this month, and this game started just as they wanted.  With senior captain Jack Southron (University of Arizona) starting the game with a pure hat trick, Mater Dei jumped out to a 3-0 lead.  on 2 unassisted goals and then a third goal assisted by Junior Nick Sando.

As the game entered the second quarter, Tesoro’s defense settled in and did a better job of containing Southron’s combination size, quick feet and great hands.  The offense also started to find the seams in the Monarch’s zone defense. Brian Graves (2a, 1g) fed Cole Spooner (1a, 1g) who later returned the favor by feeding Graves a goal as he sat on the crease for the only two score of the quarter to make it 3-2 at halftime.

The defenses continued to dominate in the second half. In the 3rd quarter, Tesoro’s goalie Ethan Patterson advanced the ball all the way down field and fed Carson Spooner (1a, 1g) with a quick drop to tie the game at 3-3.  Southron got the lead back for Mater Dei but Tesoro kept pace when Carson Spooner fed Jason Moreta (1g) to tie the game again 4-4.   Jack Irvin put a pass from Nick Sando to make it 5-4 but once again Tesoro had an answer. Graves passed off to Trent Tubbs (1g) who tied it once more 5-5.

The fourth quarter scoring opened when Kelly O’Leary (1a) feed King (2g), putting Tesoro up 6-5. Brady Burwell evened up the score once more for the Monarchs at 6-6. Both teams keep the pressure on down to the wire with Mater Dei doing all it could to score but Tesoro’s defense smothered their every attempt.  Final score: 7-6 Tesoro.