Torrey Pines Edges Foothill in Shootout

Foothill ThumbTorrey Pines squeezed by Foothill 14-13 on Saturday in a game that lived up to the hype, and went back and forth more times than a conductor’s baton. This game was defined by its momentum swings from beginning to end.

Torrey Pines caught Foothill flat-footed to open the game. With the Knights’ defense looking disorganized and the offense unable to hang on to the ball, the Falcons seized the opportunity they were presented, and jumped out to a very quick 3-0 lead. Following the third goal, the Foothill defense began to gel and create some ground balls with their aggressiveness, but the offense continued to sputter.

Foothill got their first break when the Falcons went man down for a 30 second technical offsides. Nate Marano got some time and space after some nifty ball movement by the man up unit, and ripped one in to the back of the net to make it 3-1. The goal pumped some life into Marano’s teammates, momentum became a Foothill fan, and the Knights went on a four goal run. Within minutes Austin Babb fed Nick Matzek on the fast break. Kevin Kodzis finished a pass from Nate Marano, Marano finished a Nathan Skeen pass with a high to high top shelf rocket, and Case wrapped around from X after a sweet fake and finished. Just like that Foothill led 5-3 and the first quarter had not ended yet. A Torrey Pines score closed the quarter at 5-4 Foothill.

The Knights continued their surge in the second quarter with a three goal run. Skeen capitalized on a failed clear to make it 6-4 before Marano scored his third and fourth goals, both came on dominating power moves down low, to make it 8-4.

The Knights were on a 7-1 run and the momentum was all theirs with only 6:3O left in the half. And it’s all about the momentum, right? Yep. Until the momentum swings. Which it did. The Falcons scored three unanswered goals, including two on EMOs, to end the first half at 8-7, and then three more goals in quick succession to open the second half and make it 11-8 in favor of the Falcons with about 15 minutes to play. The momentum was now clearly in Torrey Pines’ favor, and its all about the momentum, right? So clearly it was now time for a momentum swing, and Case provided the impetus when he picked up a rebound and made it 11-9. Ryan Falbo made it 11-10 to end the the third quarter.

Foothill tied the game in the fourth quarter when Skeen finished a Case pass. The Skeen goal was initiated when Kodzis went horizontal to break up a Torrey Pines clear at midfield, and cause a turnover that led to a fast break and the Skeen score.

Two more Torrey Pines goals brought it to 13-11 before Marano fought off a triple team to feed an open Matzek on the crease with a few minutes left. The Falcons went up by two. Then Case scored his third of the game, this time with an assist from Marano. The Knights had their chances to tie during a final frenzied 30 seconds in the Torrey Pines end but could not score.

Hats off to the Torrey Pines Falcons for a hard fought victory. A lesser team would may packed it in during Foothill’s 7-1 first half run, but the Falcons did not. Torrey Pines, 5-0, was led by Henry Hollen (4 goals), Spencer Small (3 goals) Marc Lefferdink (3 goals) , two goals by Eli Suhadolnik, and a goal apiece from Beau Botkiss and Bradon Trentalango.

Foothill continues their gauntlet of a schedule with games at Santa Margarita Wednesday and San Clemente on Friday.

Stars of the Game

27 goals, two four-goal scorers, three hat tricks, 11 different goal scorers, and too many highlights to count. It’s almost unfair to pick three stars but here we go.

1. Nate Marano, Foothill, attack: Despite Torrey Pines’ best efforts to lock him off, Marano ended the game with 7 points (4 goals and 3 assists). His outside rip was as lethal as his inside power moves. He powered through a determined triple team when he found an open Nick Matzek for the Knights 12th goal.

2. Henry Hollen, Torrey Pines, attack: Hollen scored four of the Falcons’ final 9 goals including the game winner. He had a spectacular game.

3. Warren Case, Foothill, midfield: Case gave the Torrey Pines defense fits from X, and finished the game with 3 goals.

–Special to