Monday night’s season opener for the Trabuco Hills Mustangs and the Huntington Beach Oilers was a showdown between two playoff caliber teams looking to make an early season statement. The Oilers came out with an aggressive and swarming defense led by their goalie Cole Daws who had 17 saves for the night. The first quarter of the contest was dominated by the Huntington Beach defense with outstanding performances by defensemen Sean D’Zmura, Jeremy Anderson and Brandon Womble.
The Oilers were the first to strike and led at the end of the first quarter 2-1 on goals from Daniel Shulze and Leo Leighton. The Mustangs answered with a nice running left handed shot from Andrew Blume. The Mustangs offense got a little momentum in the second quarter with goals from John Kauo and Harrison Evans. The Oilers were able to calm that momentum somewhat when they were able to kill a double man down disadvantage in the waning seconds of the half. The Trabuco Hills Mustangs enjoyed a hard fought 4-2 advantage at halftime.
In the second half the Mustangs defense settled in with outstanding work by goalie Nick Wilson who had 11 saves on 16 shots and a couple of timely takeaways from defenseman Ryan John. Despite the motivated defense of Trabuco, the Oilers were able to find the back of the net three more times with goals from Shulze (2), James Sidrak and Kyle Henriksen.
Trabuco’s offense got on track with Howie Gundy winning 65% of his face offs and the Mustangs settled into a nice ball control game with goals from Billy Barron (2), Andrew Blume (2) and Harrison Evans who had four goals on the night and the Mustangs put the Oilers away with a 9- 5 win in game one of the new season.
When asked about his team’s performance coach Johnny Rodriguez said “ We came out a little tight tonight and played sloppy at first, but I am proud of these guys and the way they stayed the course settled down and played mustang lacrosse in the second half.”