A late season turnaround has made the Trabuco Hills Mustangs a legitimate contender for one of the final at-large playoff spots. The Mustangs entered this final week of the season looking for two wins to bolster their case that they are one of the top 16 teams in the South Division. Standing in their way were Tesoro High School, a team that the Mustangs had never beaten before, and No. 14 El Toro High School. Tuesday night, the Mustangs took care of the first piece of business by taking down the Tesoro Titans for the first time ever. The score was 7-4. The home team Mustangs gave no quarter as the Mustang backline held the Titans to two goals for the first 46 minutes of play.
Sage DeVault got Tesoro on the board first before Ben Nguyen quickly answered to knot the game at 1. The first quarter ended all even with great defensive stands at both ends. Defense continued to dominate in the second quarter with DeVault scoring the only goal of the quarter to give the Titans a 2-1 halftime lead.
The third quarter was all Trabuco, with four unanswered goals. Trabuco faceoff specialist, John Kauo, made sure the Mustangs kept possession with 4 out of 5 third quarter faceoff wins. Harrison Evans owned the quarter with a 1,2,3 hat trick. Evans started the half off with a btb (behind-the-back) dodge goal during an unsettled defensive situation. Momentum soared after Evans ripped two more 47 seconds apart. The quarter ended 5-2 with Andrew Blume outrunning the defense with a dodge and top-shelf finish. The Mustangs charged out of the corral in the fourth quarter, as Billy Barron received a fine pass from Blume to get the score to 6-2. Defender Justin Wetmore sent the Trabuco sidelines into a frenzy as he went coast-to-coast to score, putting the game out of reach and finishing out the Mustang goals for the night. Tesoro’s Matt Costanzo and Zach King were able to find the back of the net in the last couple minutes of the game to round out the final game score of 7-4.
Trabuco sophomore goalie, Nick Wilson, stepped up to the task, protecting the net from 14 possible points. His defense locked-down, forcing nine failed Tesoro clears.
“I was proud of the boys tonight. “Mustangs Head Coach Johnny Rodriguez said after the game. “They believed in themselves and played a full 48 minutes of lacrosse. We’re going to enjoy the moment and get back to work tomorrow to prepare for El Toro.”
The Mustangs (8-9) head into their final game Thursday against El Toro charged in a game that should entertain the fans with playoff intensity. With the Mustangs and Chargers entering the week ranked 14th and 17th in the US Lacrosse poll, both teams will want to end the season on high note to impress the playoff selection committee that meets on May 3.