Hip and ankle injuries have nagged Mission Viejo High School’s Jeff Jurgemeyer most of the season. Jurgemeyer, last year’s South Coast League offensive soccer player of the year with 19 goals, had only four goals going into Tuesday’s Southern Section 3-A semifinal match against St. Francis.
But Tuesday, Jurgemeyer was up to speed, scoring two second-half goals to give the top-seeded Diablos a 2-1 victory over fourth-seeded St. Francis.
“It would feel fine one day and then start hurting, but it ended up feeling great today,” Jurgemeyer said.
Mission Viejo (22-1-3) advances to the final for the first time. The Diablos play Santa Barbara at 8 p.m. Saturday at Gahr High School in Cerritos.
But for the first 40 minutes, it appeared St. Francis (19-2) was headed for the final. The taller, more physical Golden Knights dominated the half. They scored 9 minutes into the match when Robert Guerrero intercepted a pass meant for Diablo goalie Preston Cubel and scored.
“We got caught up in their game of the long ball and trying to control it high in the air,” Diablo Coach Cal Foster said. “We had to get it on the ground where we could work with it.”
In the second half the Diablos did just that.
Jurgemeyer took a crossing pass from Andy Wortrich and scored with 20 minutes to play to tie the score. He struck again with 6 minutes to play when he took a header from Todd Patrick about 25 yards in front of the goal and went one-on-one, beating goalie Alex Poli.
In a 4-A semifinal match:
Edison 3, Hawthorne 2--Edison scored three second-half goals, two by Brian Higgins, and will play Palos Verdes in the final at 8 p.m. Friday at Gahr.
Edison (14-5-3) trailed, 1-0, before Kevin Smith tied the score 27 seconds into the second half. Higgins put Edison ahead 10 minutes later and gave the Chargers a cushion with 20 minutes to play. Hawthorne is 16-10-2.
In a Small Schools semifinal match:
Morro Bay 2, Whittier Christian 1--Host Morro Bay (17-3-2) scored two goals in final 9 minutes for the victory. Tom Chausse scored with 9 minutes left to tie it, 1-1, and Max Traux scored the winning goal about two minutes later. Whittier Christian is 18-4-3.