By Steve Breazeale
For in-game updates, scores, news and more for all of the San Clemente High School winter sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.
Boys Soccer Jumps to Top of Standings
In its second go-around through South Coast League competition, the San Clemente boys soccer team did exactly what it needed to do in order to stay in the hunt for the league title.
The first-place Tritons have not lost a match since Jan. 15 and have compiled a 3-0-1 record in four league matches since. After earning a tough-luck 1-1 tie with San Juan Hills on Feb. 3, San Clemente (9-9-5, 4-2-1) bounced back with a 1-0 win over Mission Viejo (3-6-3, 3-2-1) on Feb. 5. Senior forward Barrett Croft scored the decisive goal in the second half to seal the win. Ben Giacobello assisted on the goal.
The San Clemente defense has been stout over the four-match unbeaten streak. The Tritons have allowed only one goal in four matches, recording three shutouts along the way. San Juan Hills broke the Tritons clean sheet record by heading home a goal in the final minute of stoppage time.
The win over Mission Viejo put the Tritons on top of the standings with one game remaining on the league schedule. San Clemente will travel to play fifth-place El Toro (6-7-6, 1-4-2) on Feb. 11. The Tritons knocked off the Chargers 2-0 on Jan. 22.
Triton Hoops Grabs a Share of Title
Six San Clemente players scored at least eight points against South Coast League rival Aliso Niguel on Feb. 5 as the Triton boys basketball team coasted to a 77-64 wire-to-wire victory. The win earned the Tritons (19-6, 6-1 league) at least a share of the league hardware for a third consecutive year.
If San Clemente is to win the league title outright, they must defeat Dana Hills on Feb. 11. The game will be the final regular season contest of the year for San Clemente. The Tritons edged the Dolphins (9-17, 0-7) 56-45 on Jan. 8. Second-place El Toro (19-7, 6-2) trails San Clemente by one game in the standings.
Against Aliso Niguel, the Tritons showed off their considerable depth, piling up points thanks to six players scoring eight or more points. Three Triton players hit the double-digit mark in scoring, led by Senior Dillon Waikle’s game-high 14 points. Waikle also pulled in five rebounds and recorded five blocks. Senior guard Gage Shelmidine poured in 14 points, tallied six assists, five rebounds and two steals in the win.
Shutout of Dolphins Earns Girls Soccer Second Place in League
The San Clemente girls soccer team ended its run through the South Coast League on a high note by defeating rival Dana Hills 2-0 on Feb. 8. Kira Nemeth and Morgan Farrier each scored a goal and were assisted by Franni Viera and Ellie Winklemann, respectively.
The win ensured a solo second-place finish for the Tritons (12-3-7, 5-1-2), who had a very successful run through the regular season. San Clemente, however, was not able to catch up to top-ranked Aliso Niguel in the league standings.
Seventh-ranked San Clemente will enter the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs as the league’s No. 2 seed. Playoff brackets will be released Feb. 15.
Tritons Water Polo Eyes Playoff Berth
The second-place San Clemente girls water polo team was scheduled to play a crucial South Coast League match against third-place Dana Hills on Feb. 10. Results were not available at press time.
The Tritons (17-11, 5-2) held a one-match lead over the Dolphins (14-14, 4-3) in the league standings heading into the match, which made the contest all about league placement and CIF-SS Division 2 playoff seeding. The Tritons and Dolphins could not catch first-place El Toro (18-9, 8-0) in the standings.
San Clemente edged its way past the Dolphins 11-9 in the teams’ first meeting of the season on Jan. 26.
San Clemente built its slim lead over the Dolphins following an 18-2 league victory over Tesoro on Feb. 8.