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Varsity 15, San Clemente 9

March 29, 2013

As the Trabuco Hills Girls Lacrosse Varsity took the field on Thursday night for another South Coast League match at Trabuco Stadium, something looked different.

san clemente logoCoach Scott Leong had shuffled his normal starting line-up, perhaps sending a subtle message that things would need to be a little different moving forward after a couple of highly frustrating losses over the past week. Whether a shrewd move or a casual idea, the visiting Tritons from San Clemente would put it to the test.

The initial outlook was not promising. San Clemente controlled the opening draw, a pattern for the Mustangs over the past 2 games, and proceeded to notch the 1st goal of the game just 44 seconds into the contest. However, Trabuco Hills came right back with Jenelle Phillips breaking free in front of the Triton net to tie the score at 1-1. Delaney Shelton then celebrated her return to the offense by banking a shot off of the Triton goalie to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead. San Clemente would respond with 2 straight goals and it looked like it was going to be a difficult road. But things would change on a broken play in the open field when Taylor Fox, attempting to scoop a loose ball in traffic, inadvertently flipped the ball ahead into space; Shelton alertly raced onto the ball, scooped it in full stride, and had an unobstructed path to the Triton goal to again tie the score.

Two consecutive goals by Marina Sandoval, the second of which came directly off of a nice run after a draw win, suddenly kicked the Mustang offense into high gear. Phillips scored her 2nd after a splendid take-away on the left wing, and then Shelton retrieved a loose ball after a bad pass had put it near the end line, raced around the far side of the crease, and finished on the short side to tally her 3rd goal of the half.

Following a San Clemente time-out, Coach Leong made 7 substitutions, inserting several familiar faces into the line-up. After a couple of minutes where the fresh players seemed a little out of synch, Kendall Derbyshire made a beautiful play off of a deflected pass and led Hope Dodd with a perfect feed which Dodd turned into a score off of the far post. On their next possession, San Clemente caught the Mustang defense out of its typical solid positioning and was able to sneak in a goal to bring the score to 8-4.

The Tritons pressed the attack but the Mustang defense dug in and did their job, keeping the ball mostly to the outside and harassing anyone who dared to cut through the slot. Dodd and Hannah Redwine then teamed up for 2 straight winners, the first pass finding Redwine in heavy traffic before she was able to convert through several defenders, and the second reaching Redwine to the right side of the goal crease, but a contorting move beat the Triton net minder inside the near post. Jackie Huse closed out the scoring as time ran down, and Trabuco Hills went into halftime with an 11-4 lead.

Cyrena Malkowski recorded 7 saves for the half, most of which were high quality scoring chances.

The Tritons opened the 2nd half on the attack, again managing to score within the first minute of play. The Mustangs responded with Phillips taking the ball off of the draw and racing in to record her 3rd goal of the game. Following another San Clemente tally, a Phillips pass found Shelton in the seam and she was able to put it away for her 4th goal of the game. Melanie Leong was active on both ends of the field and lent an added dimension to the Mustang defensive effort; Cheyenne Ochoa was busy in the San Clemente zone; and Becca Ransom stood up with strong physical play to go along with disciplined defensive positioning as the Tritons attempted to spark a comeback.

Trading punches now, the teams took turns scoring the rest of the way. Dodd added her 2nd and 3rd goals while Malkowski weathered the storm in net, making another 9 crucial saves to give her 16 for the night. With the clock working against them, San Clemente was unable to mount any sort of a serious comeback as the Mustangs seemed to have an answer for everything. As time expired , Trabuco Hills celebrated a very gratifying 15-9 victory.

Record: 6-4-2; 2-2 South Coast

Next Game: April 9 hosting Temecula Valley

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