Mission Viejo Lets Chance to Upset Tritons Slip Away


If the downtrodden Mission Viejo boys’ soccer team was ever going to upset a ranked team, Friday would have been the day. Tenth-ranked San Clemente slept and slipped through the first half on Mission Viejo’s muddy field, then woke up in the second half and won, 2-0.

The Tritons (10-2-5, 2-0-1) were outshot, 9-4, in the first half. Fortunately, they had Kevin Mehrens in goal, who saved the shots that were on target and watched plenty of others sail wide or high.

“The goalkeeper was our first problem,” Mission Viejo Coach Ed Carrillo said. “He’s very good in the air.”


Mission Viejo (4-6-4, 0-3) had plenty of opportunities, but its best came on a header by Trevor Grace that was headed directly into Mehrens’ chest from three yards away.

“It’s very frustrating,” Carrillo said. “I thought we pretty much outplayed them in the first half. They just didn’t go in.”

Meanwhile, San Clemente converted on one of the few shots it took in the first half, a diving header by Kevin Jordan off a throw-in by Beau Schuster six minutes into the game.

By the second half, Mission Viejo’s beat-up team had nothing left to give and San Clemente began to take over. The Diablos began the game without midfielder Nick Gilliam, who has been out since the second game because of torn cartilage in his knee. They lost three players to injuries in the first half and another in the second half. Grace left for an appointment after his unsuccessful header.

San Clemente made it 2-0 halfway through the second half, when Nate Kensinger scored on a breakaway.

“The field was slick and we weren’t getting many good touches in the midfield area, so in the second half, we decided to kick it downfield in the corners,” San Clemente Coach Michael Pronier said.


The victory was Pronier’s 100th in his 10th season.

“It’s come a lot quicker in the last four than the first six,” Pronier said.

In another South Coast League game:

No. 2 Capistrano Valley 1, Trabuco Hills 0--Sweeper Chris Latini scored the game-winner in a game highlighted by tight defense. Capistrano Valley goalkeeper Jon Tarno stopped two breakaways and blocked another shot during a one-on-one.

Defenders Billy Hierl and Andre Wendell each saved a goal by clearing a shot within inches of crossing the goal line. Capistrano Valley improved to 16-2-2, 2-0-1. Host Trabuco Hills is 6-6-6, 1-1-1.