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Klawunder's OT goal lifts Santa Margarita
Locked in a scoreless battle with San Clemente in double overtime, Santa Margarita junior Taylor Klawunder saw an opportunity to make a match-changing play and squared herself up for a shot in the middle of the field.
When her shot ultimately bounced across the goal line, the county’s most historic run of sustained team success came to an end.
Klawunder’s golden goal lifted the Eagles over the Tritons, 1-0, in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs Tuesday at San Clemente High.
"San Clemente is a really tough team, but we were able to pull through and get the win," Klawunder said.
The Eagles (10-5-4) will face top-seeded Capistrano Valley in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
"The girls played very hard, and though we bent, we didn't break against a really good team on their field," Eagles coach Chuck Morales said.
The loss ends San Clemente's (10-7-6) county record run of five consecutive seasons of advancing to the Division 1 title match.
"It's unfortunate that we ended our season earlier than we hoped to, but I'm so proud of my team," Tritons coach Stacey Finnerty said.
Santa Margarita opened the match on the attack and nearly took the lead in the first minute. Junior Heather Walleigh managed to get off a hard line drive on frame, but Tritons junior goalie Audrey Block made a diving save to prevent the score.
Three minutes later, Walleigh sent a cross through the middle to junior Kaitlin Klawunder. Klawunder’s subsequent shot attempt was kicked away from the near corner of the goal by Tritons junior Ally Lynn.
The defenses of both teams were strong throughout the remainder of the first half. Tritons senior Sydney Fuertes and sophomore Amanda Gerrain each made key defensive plays to thwart Eagle possessions in the attacking third. Santa Margarita senior backline of Kailey Hackett, Jennifer Rupey, and Jennifer Donegan helped to limit San Clemente to just one first half shot attempt.
Block, who had five saves for San Clemente, opened the second half with a nice stop on a shot by Eagles senior Samantha Trenary.
San Clemente nearly took the lead in the 60th minute, as junior Nikki Faris outraced the Eagles defense to a ball deep in the attacking third. She managed to get off a shot that rolled just wide of the far post corner of the goal.
Farris and junior Hailey Laub combined on another deep run toward to goal in the 77th minute, but Eagles senior goalie Taylor Wulf managed to corral the ball before Laub could get off a shot attempt.
Santa Margarita had two shot attempts in the fourth minute of the first overtime period, but shots by senior Lauren Rodriguez and Walleigh were wide of the goal.
Then early in the second overtime period, Eagles junior McKenna Roth sent a pass over to Klawunder, who floated a high arching shot that appeared to graze the fingertips of Block before hitting the crossbar, and bouncing down over the goal line to end the match and set off a raucous celebration by Santa Margarita.
“I checked into the space and McKenna passed me the ball,” Klawunder said. “I turned, saw the goal, and took the shot. I had been practicing those shots in practice and I’m so glad that it went in.”
Morales stated the Klawunder continued to work hard throughout the match though she didn’t have many other opportunities to score.
“Taylor was getting looks, but wasn’t getting the ball,” Morales said. “The middle opened up and she had no pressure on her and was able to hit it.”
In other second-round games:
Also in Division 1:
Capistrano Valley 3, Northwood 0: Jordyn Balanto, Alex Hussar, and Anne Hinman scored goals to lead the top-ranked Cougars (18-1-3) over the Timberwolves (13-9-4) at Irvine.
Esperanza 1, Corona del Mar 0: Nosa Ogiamien scored the match-winning goal in the second half as the Aztecs (15-5-6) defeated the Sea Kings (16-4-4) at Estancia High.
Aliso Niguel 1, Edison 0: Sarah Roberts tallied the match-winner in the second half as the visiting Wolverines (11-3-6) edged the Chargers (16-4-4).
Villa Park 1, Laguna Hills 0: Cassidy Hodson's second-half goal lifted the visiting Spartans (19-5-5) past the Hawks (6-11-7).
In Division 2:
Sunny Hills 1, Millikan 0: Maribell Morales scored the match-decider in the first half, as the top-ranked Lancers (22-1-5) slipped past the host Rams (15-8-3).
In Division 3:
Yorba Linda 2, Santa Paula 0: Ashlee Webb scored a goal in both halves to lead the top-seeded Mustangs (12-5-7) to a home victoryover the Cardinals (17-7).
In Division 5:
St. Margaret's 1, Santa Fe 0: Lizzie Barbaresi's first-half goal was the difference in the Tartans' (15-4-4) victory over the Chiefs (13-8-5).
In Division 6:
Segerstrom 5, Rialto 0: Cindy Maradiaga scored two goals to guide the visiting Jaguars (18-0) past the Knights (9-14).
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