Trabuco Hills' Alex Ballard, left, and Foothill's Omar Franco fight for control of the ball during a soccer game between Foothill and Trabuco Hills at Foothill High School in Santa Ana on Wednesday.

Foothill grinds out first victory of the season


Foothill’s worst performance surprising delivered its best result at the Knights won their first game season.

Twice Foothill trailed in Wednesday’s boys soccer game, but Daley Turner tied the game in the 18th minute and Devin Lawalata knocked in the game winner off free kick from Chris Kiehler five minute before halftime to lead the host Knights to a 3-2 victory against Trabuco Hills.

It was the Knight’s first triumph on the newly christened field named for longtime coach Barry Turner, who is suffering from Lou Gehrig ’s disease.

Tuner was there in his wheelchair, parked near his old classroom at Hillview High.

But even though Turner retired at the end of last season, he isn’t always just a spectator. Foothill coach Dave McAulay said the coaching staff visits Turner from time to time, and will often bounce ideas off Foothill’s old coach. Sometimes he gives them “a tip or two,” McAulay said.

“We respect his opinions. I wish he could be at all of our games,” McAulay said.

Turner might have a suggestion or two after Wednesday’s game as the Knights’ organization and ball movement weren’t as good as it could have been.

“This is probably the worst we played,” McAulay said. “But the way we have played so far this season has been good. We have just lacked goals.”

The Knights’ got plenty of them today, but not before Alex Depue gave the Mustangs (2-3) a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute. Trabuco Hills came out firing in this nonleague game as Isac Quilantan lined a hard shot at the goal in the second minute from just outside the 6-yard box. But Nathan Brown, Foothill’s senior keeper, leaped in front of the ball to record one of his five saves.

He couldn’t stop Edgar Bahena-Aranda’s shot in the 15th minute, however, as the ball slowly floated over Brown’s hand and just underneath the crossbar to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead. Foothill senior team captain Nico Tagaloa tied the game, 1-1, two minutes earlier.

“We are going to continue to build on this, and continue to work on our attacking play. When you score goals, you get the results,” McAulay said. “For the most part it was an ugly game, back and forth. But I am just happy that we were able to grind it out.”

In other  boys soccer games:

La Habra 2, Montebello 1: Felipe Figueroa and Yoel Lencina both scored for the visiting Highlanders (2-2).

Santa Margarita 7, San Juan Hills 1: Sean Goode finished with three goals for the host Eagles (6-1-2).

El Dorado 2, Yorba Linda 0: Alex Trejo scored both goals in the first 13 minutes for the host Golden Hawks (2-2).

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