By Steve Breazeale
SAN CLEMENTE– There was certainly not a lack of opportunities for goals in the San Clemente girls soccer teams’ South Coast League matchup against visiting Tesoro on January 22.
The Tritons outshot Tesoro at a 20 to five clip, but settled for a 1-1 draw, keeping them in the middle of the pack in the league standings.
Despite the eye popping shot differential, the Tritons (8-5-5, 2-1-2 league) trailed throughout the first half, when an early goal by Tesoro (4-9-3, 0-4-1) in the eighth minute caught the home team by surprise. After a long ball out of the midfield found its way into the box, Tesoro’s sophomore midfielder Giannina Battaglia beat the Tritons goalie, Audrey Block, to the spot and flicked the ball over her head for a 1-0 advantage.
The Tritons would respond with a balanced offense, attempting shots from outside the box as well as building up for close range attempts. Tritons junior Kelly Jameson almost scored from distance on a rocket of a ball that clanged off the crossbar in the 12th minute. The ensuing rebound was collected by junior Ally Lynn but her shot attempt sailed wide.
The Tritons controlled most of the game, running their offense through junior forward Nikki Faris. But Faris, like her teammates, would have her fair share of issues with the crossbar throughout the game. After a nice run in open space and into the box, Faris sent an arching lob shot over Tesoro’s goalie and off the post in the 26th minute, coming inches away from scoring a goal.
It wasn’t until the 54th minute of the match that the Triton offense broke though for a goal on a corner kick. Sophomore Amanda Gerrain sent a low, curling ball towards the near side of the post that Faris whipped into the net with the flick of her head, tying things up at 1-1.
More and more chances would come the Tritons way and the ball stayed in their offensive third of the field for most of the second half. But Faris’ goal would be their lone scratch on the night.
“We couldn’t finish for sure. This was a crucial match and point in the season…We should have finished (some of the shots),” San Clemente head coach Stacey Finnerty said.
The Tritons now have a few days off before resuming league play against Aliso Niguel on January 29.