By Steve Breazeale
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Triton Boys Soccer Serves Up Shutouts
After sitting idle for eleven days the San Clemente boys soccer team showed no signs of rust in consecutive 3-0 shutout South Coast League victories over visiting Tesoro on January 11 and Aliso Niguel on January 14.
The Tritons (19-2-1, 2-0 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 against the Titans in their league opener.
The Tritons outshot Tesoro 11-3 in the first half and held their opponents to eight total shots in over more than 80 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 were the first team to reach two wins in South Coast League play and have a solid hold on first place as of January 16. But with the new week comes a dense and tough portion of the Tritons schedule and it started with the game against the Wolverines on January 14.
The 3-0 win over Aliso Niguel saw sophomore forward Blayne Martinez breakthrough for two goals and junior midfielder Bryce Kaminski score one. It was Martinez’s eighth goal of the year and the first for Kaminski.
San Clemente was set to play at Mission Viejo on January 16. Results were not available at press time. Their next game will be against second place Capistrano Valley on January 18.
SC Girls Soccer Prepares for CIF Rematch
As of January 16, the San Clemente girls soccer team holds the slimmest of leads over Mission Viejo and Aliso Niguel for the second place spot in the competitive South Coast League.
The Tritons stand at 1-1 in league, having played one less league game than the Diablos (1-1-1 league) and Wolverines (1-1-1). It’s only fitting that San Clemente’s next two games will be against those very same teams.
San Clemente will play host to Mission Viejo on January 17 at 5 p.m. The Diablos may have a mediocre record at the moment, but they have been in close games in league. They drew to a 1-1 tie against Aliso Niguel on January 8 then conceded only one goal in the first half in a 1-0 loss to first place Dana Hills on January 12. Their offense then erupted for four goals in a 4-3 win over Tesoro on January 15.
The Diablos have a well-balanced attack, with eight different players on the roster who have scored goals for them this season.
January 19 will be a rematch of last year’s CIF-SS Division 1 finals, as Aliso Niguel travels to play San Clemente at 5 p.m. It will be the first time the two teams have played each other since the Wolverines defeated the Tritons, 2-1, on March 2, 2012.
Triton Boys Hoops in First Place
After a solid start to Sea View League play the Tritons boys basketball team sits atop the standings, holding a share of first place with rival Dana Hills.
As of January 16, The Tritons (12-8, 2-0) were in the middle of an impressive four-game win streak, beating quality opponents like Capistrano Valley and Trabuco Hills.
The Tritons are riding the strength of their high-powered offense and their ability to get rebounds. Five Tritons are averaging double digits in scoring and as a team, they are averaging just over 30 rebounds per game.
Dana Hills and San Clemente were set to play on January 16. Results were not available at press time. For a full recap of the game visit www.sanclementetimes.com.
The Triton wrestling team had five wrestlers place first; four place second and three place third in their respective weight classes at the Ontario Invitational on January 5. The all-around performance paid off and for the fourth time this year, the Tritons took home a tournament championship trophy. The Tritons scored 293.5 points, clearing the second place team by 119 points.
Ash Ryan (197 pounds) and Austin Aceves (222 pounds) continued their strong level of play by winning their weight classes. John Castellini (140 pounds), Mike Marshall (162 pounds) and Tony Flores (172 pounds) were among the other Tritons who won their weight classes.
San Clemente was set to compete against Capistrano Valley on January 8 and Aliso Niguel on January 15. Results were not available at press time.
Girls Basketball on Collision Course with Hawks
So far, the San Clemente girls basketball team has had no problem with their South Coast League opponents. The team defeated Aliso Niguel, 70-27, on January 8, Capistrano Valley, 75-59, on January 12 and El Toro, 57-42, on January 15.
On January 17, things will get interesting.
The Tritons (13-4, 3-0) will host Laguna Hills (15-4, 4-0) in a battle for the top spot in league. The Hawks already beat the Tritons by seven points earlier this season in the Larry Doyle Tournament, so they have a history with one another. The teams will play again on February 2, when the league title could be on the line.
Girls Water Polo
The Tritons (6-10, 2-1) played at the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions from January 10 to January 12, going 1-3 over the stretch. They now head to a tournament in Coronado as a No. 4 seed in the 32-team field. After the tournament they will return to league play and square off against Dana Hills on January 22.
Editor’s Note: The print edition of this week’s Triton Report incorrectly stated that the Tritons went 0-5 at the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions. The team went 1-3