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Varsity 12, San Clemente 3

March 25, 2015

Coming off of a challenging week, Trabuco Hills Girls Lacrosse Varsity stepped onto their home turf Tuesday night with something to prove — as well as something to discover.

san clemente logoThe defending South Coast League champs have not gotten off to the start they were expecting, and there was a sense that this team was ready to get their campaign back on track. Awaiting their efforts on this day was the Triton squad from San Clemente.

The Mustangs came out of the gate at a full gallop, aggressively seeking the Triton goal from all directions. Winning the opening draw, Kendall Derbyshire controlled the ball and got it over to Ashley Murillo, who returned the favor so Derbyshire could get the home team on the board. Derbyshire hastily netted a second quick goal on the next possession. Shannon Smith, feeling ever more comfortable in the center circle, won a 3rd consecutive draw which allowed Trabuco Hills to go on the attack again, this time resulting in two posts hit but no score to show for it. After San Clemente gained control, the Mustangs took the ball away and Jenelle Phillips slipped a shot in just above the shoelaces of the Triton keeper. Another draw win and a carry by Smith resulted in a pass into the slot, where Becca Haggard beat the goalie just inside the post. Yet another draw win placed the ball back in the possession of Derbyshire, who tallied her 3rd goal in short order. The sixth consecutive successful draw allowed the Mustangs to slow things down a little and, after working the ball around the zone, Phillips was able to beat a 2-on-1 to push the Trabuco Hills lead to 6-0.

San Clemente was finally able to control the ball on the next draw, but after carrying it into the Trabuco Hills zone, they chose to slow the play down to what amounted to a casual stroll, showing no urgency in the offense while being content to hold the ball behind the net. Eventually the Tritons were able to work the ball out in front and notch their first goal, breaking the Mustang grip on the scoreboard. Overall, the pace of the entire game slowed down as well, partly due to dropped passes by both squads and a flurry of fouls called on San Clemente, including 3 yellow cards.

Ashley Murillo tried to jump start the offense again with a nice shot, followed by a textbook pass into the slot by Smith which Haggard quickly converted. Another very slow offensive set by the Tritons netted no results for them, but the Mustangs were happy to take the ball down to the other end, where Derbyshire was able to whistle a pass from behind the net to Marina Sandoval in front of the goal for a late score before the halftime buzzer.

On the opening draw of the second half, a fluke collision put Derbyshire on the sideline with the trainer after just 7 seconds. Not to be deterred, the Mustangs pressed the attack when Taylor Fox executed a beautiful weaving run down the field and snuck the ball beneath the Triton keeper for goal number 10 for Trabuco Hills. However, the pace of the game was returning to favor the pace of San Clemente, crawling along because of numerous whistles, dropped passes, and missed shots-on-goal. Sam Ransom benefitted from a whistle and free position to push the Mustang lead to 10.

There was play up-and-down the field and San Clemente had their opportunities, but defenders Hannah Moller and Kody Shelton lead a nearly impenetrable Mustang defense, which only surrendered 7 shots on the evening. As the action waned, the Tritons seemed to become more comfortable and were able to net 2 unanswered goals – 1 on a free position – but then Murillo was able to take advantage of an apparent accidental pick-and-roll when Phillips set a perfect screen and allowed Murillo an unobstructed path to the San Clemente goal, finishing with a strong bounce shot to close out the scoring.

Showing they could play a different style of game from their normal pressing attack, Trabuco Hills walked away from this contest with a huge confidence-building 12-3 South Coast League victory. With a week to prepare for their next tilt, the Mustangs are primed to take control of the rest of their season.

Record: 5-5, 1-1 South Coast
Next: Tuesday, host Capo valley

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