Santa Barbara High’s boys soccer team couldn’t stop San Clemente in Friday’s Division 1 CIF quarterfinal, allowing a season-high seven goals in a 7-2 season-ending loss to the host Tritons.
Coming off of two straight shutouts, the Dons hadn’t given up seven goals combined in their past 11 games (9-1-1 record).
“One of those things where we had some mental breakdowns early in the game, which isn’t like us,” said Santa Barbara head coach Todd Heil, who complimented San Clemente for taking advantage of defensive mistakes.
Blayne Martinez had a goal and an assist right off the bat to give San Clemente a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes.
“The second one kind of rattled us,” Heil said.
San Clemente led 4-0 by the halfway point of the first half.
San Clemente is the top-seeded team in the Division and ranked No. 1 in California by Maxpreps.
The Tritons advance to play JSerra, 2-1 winners over Palos Verdes, in Tuesday’s semifinal.
View the Division 1 CIF Bracket HERE
Gage Zerboni scored two goals and dished out two assists.
Landon Mullen broke the shut out before halftime on an assist from Jason Ildefonso. Santa Barbara went down 7-1 before Peter Gamboa scored in the final minutes.
The two teams played earlier this season, with San Clemente recording a 3-1 victory in Santa Barbara. It’s also the fourth meeting in three years, including a 2-1 win for San Clemente in the Division 1 Championship game in 2010.
Santa Barbara finishes its season with a 21-5-2 record. The Dons are 12-4 in the Southern Section Championships in the past five years, including a title in 2009.
“I told the boys, don’t let these 80 minutes define our entire season, we had a great season and it was a season I was really proud of,” Heil stressed.