On the defensive, Tye Barton of Torrey Pines High cleared in the final of 26.
When the situation emerged, the Falcons senior also converted a penalty for the winning goal in the 2-1 win over San Clemente for the National Division title at Oceanside High on Thursday, December 30th.
Whatever it takes, Barton has helped the Falcons (10-0-1) reach mid-season unbeaten as the Coastal League starts next week.
“We wanted to win that from day one,” said Barton, whose penalty came twelve minutes from time. “We want to stay unbeaten this season so this is a big step towards it. The team played together well. “
Torrey Pines’ sixth straight win came with reserve goalkeeper Wyatt Gardner making his first start instead of Elijah Mineiro, who started a family vacation after helping the Falcons on their first two tournament outings.
“I have a pretty good team so it wasn’t that difficult for me,” said Gardner, a senior who plays both wide receiver and defensive back for the football team. “I just stood in there and did what I could.”
Gardner made two impressive saves and stopped another shot with an extended foot as part of a total of six saves that gave the Tritons (5-1-2) their first setback of the season.
Torrey Pines opened the goal three minutes before half-time when senior Mateo Pacelli converted a rebound from a defender near the goal line and then hit the crossbar after a corner kick.
“That was huge,” said Pacelli. “One of our main points is to get that early lead just to get a lead. It gives us control of the rest of the game and gives us some breathing space while the other team tries to fight. “
San Clemente even made it 1-1 after 14 minutes in the second half after a tap-in. But the Falcons regained control with a penalty drawn after a foul by striker Charlie Kosakoff.
Torrey Pines was bolstered by the return of Kosakoff, who played his fifth game after being sidelined for 14 months with hip replacement. He scored two goals in a 4-2 semi-final win over Richmond on Wednesday December 29th.
The Falcons hope to compete for their third title in the San Diego Section Open Division within four years. They lost in the quarter-finals last spring in the season that was delayed and shortened due to the pandemic.
After the 9-3-3 last season, the Falcons have already taken more victories this year. They also have an overall scoring advantage of 35-7.
“You are great,” said Andy Hargreaves, Torrey Pines coach. “They are just a good football group.”
In the game for third place, San Dieguito (8-3-2) lost 3-2 to Richmond despite two goals from Gavin Culley. The Mustangs led 1-0 at halftime, but fell on a crucial goal two minutes from time.
San Dieguito, which reached the Division II final last season, has been promoted to the DI this year.