San Clemente held off a spirited rally from Palo Verde, Nevada’s #2 rated team, to win 13-12. Sander Lush controlled the final face off with 30 seconds left and Matt Keany scored the game winner with 12 seconds remaining to preserve the Triton victory. With the win San Clemente headed home with a 1-1 spring break record after dropping an OT game to Coronado Red earlier in the week.
The Triton offense rebounded from an early one-goal Palo Verde deficit and then jumped ahead quickly with Josh Sanchez scoring two unassisted goals followed by a goal from Nick Lemus on a nice assist from Eric Zoe. Matt Keany got into the action with a goal assisted by Lemus for a 4-2 lead after one quarter. The momentum continued in the second quarter with SC controlling the face off with Sander Lush and Nate Sheppard giving the Tritons a time-of-possession advantage. The SC offense capitalized on this advantage with Brandon Wilson scoring two unassisted goals followed by scores from David Howren, Lemus, Keany, Sanchez for a 10-4 halftime lead.
But Palo Verde showed their character, and why they’re the #2 team in Nevada, by creating several second half offensive opportunities in transition to close the gap towards the end of regulation. SC stayed ahead in the fourth quarter on a beautiful give-and-go score by Austin Nix on a nifty assist from Omeed Farhadi. Palo Verde mounted a comeback with a six-goal flurry to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. However, in the final 30 seconds Lush’s face off win gave the Tritons possession and Keany tallied the winner as time expired.
Harrison Webb continued his strong goalie play with 11 saves. The defense played well all day, led by Omeed Farhadi (8 gb), Jake Brannon (5 gb), as d-poles Nick Amico, Garrett Silverman and Jack Regalado withstood the high-powered Palo Verde offense to preserve the victory. The Triton offense was led by Josh Sanchez (3g), Matt Keany (3g), David Howren (2g), Brandon Wilson (2g), Nick Lemus (2g, 2a), Austin Nix (1g), Eric Zoe(2a), Liam Nelson (1a) and Omeed Farhadi (1a).
San Clemente returns to South Coast league play on April 11th at home vs Dana Hills. On April 15th the Tritons host Southern Section CIF #3 Palos Verdes.
–Special to MaxLaxOC.com