By Steve Breazeale
After sitting idle for eleven days the San Clemente boys soccer team showed no signs of rust in a 3-0 shutout South Coast League victory over visiting Tesoro on January 11.
The Tritons (18-2-1, 1-0 league) bounced back nicely from their January 4 preseason loss to El Toro, which snapped a 13-game unbeaten streak, with a well balanced attack and a solid defensive effort.
The Tritons out shot Tesoro 11-3 in the first half and held their opponents to eight total shots in eighty plus minutes.
Senior forward Gage Zerboni scored two goals in the game to bump his season total up to a team high 17. The first came on a nice bit of interplay between him and junior Alek Cucuk, who took the ball into the left side of the box and fed it to Zerboni who finished the strike to put the Tritons up 1-0 in the 29th minute.
The Tritons overall speed contributed to multiple chances in the second half and Zerboni struck again after taking a long outlet pass down the line straight at the Tesoro keeper and burying the ball in the near side of the net to give San Clemente a 2-0 advantage in the third minute.
More chances would come the Tritons way in the second half but they only converted on one of them. Sophomore Matias Ledesma, who was subbed in with ten minutes left in the game, made a run into the box and lobbed a shot over the Titans goalie and into the net for the final goal of the game.
“We work so hard on the mentality of solid finishes and keeping the ball low…We had two or three point blank finishes that didn’t go,” head coach Mike Pronier said. “They get excited and see themselves scoring before the goal. But they do a good job of getting themselves in those positions and they played well.”
The Tritons now find themselves in the middle of a tough and consolidated portion of their schedule. They will play three times in the coming week, with games against Aliso Niguel (January 14), Mission Viejo (January 16) and Capistrano Valley (January 18).