Fri, Apr 12 2013 02:04 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The Hilltop Lancers have prided themselves on their defensive play this season and an early 6-3 record was proof of that.
There’s no denying the Lancers dominated the opening quarter of Monday’s Metro Conference game at three-time defending league champion Otay Ranch. The Lancers did everything right — except put the ball in the net.
And that would come back to haunt them as the Mustangs, playing the role of sleeping giant, awakened during the final three quarters of the game to notch a lopsided 14-2 victory.
The win kept Otay Ranch deadlocked in a first-place tie with arch rival Eastlake, which topped visiting Bonita Vista, 12-5, also on Monday.
Both Bonita Vista and Hilltop had matched the Mustangs and Titans with 4-0 starts in league play.
The Mustangs (6-4 overall) and Titans (9-2 overall) remain the only unbeaten teams in league play at 5-0. They collide at ORHS on Monday, April 15, in the first of two highly anticipated clashes this season.
“I think we’re doing well,” said Mustang senior Joey Parisi, who scored three times in Monday’s game. “We’re preparing for Eastlake. We’re trying to get more shots, win more face-offs and keep the game in the offensive zone. In this game (against Hilltop), the ball was in our defensive zone almost the whole first quarter, and we can’t have that.”
After a sluggish start, Otay Ranch turned it up a notch by quickly storming to a 4-0 lead. The Lancers drew one goal back but the hosts led 7-1 at halftime.
The Mustangs increased their lead to 8-1 when Parisi scored just 33 seconds into the second half and the Otay lead quickly ballooned to 12-2 entering the final quarter.
Hilltop tightened up defensively in the fourth quarter allowing just two goals. However, the damage had been done in the middle two quarters.
Justin Lillard and Chase Neibert each scored single goals for the Lancers. Perhaps not surprisingly, both are leading the team in scoring.
Hilltop (4-1, 6-4) was coming off an 8-3 victory against Mar Vista last Friday.
Jake Weidner, the reigning Metro Player of the Year, led Otay Ranch with 20 shots, five goals, one assist and four ground balls. He now has 54 goals on the season and is on pace to break the school record for most goals scored in one season.
So far this year, he hasn’t done anything to make anyone think he’s not the best player again in the conference.
Weidner had six goals in last Friday’s 20-0 non-league win over visiting Foothills Christian. With 10 games left in regular season play, he said he has set his sights on breaking the 100-goal barrier.
The Mustangs entered Monday’s game riding the momentum of three consecutive shutout victories: 20-0 over both Southwest and Foothills and 26-0 over Chula Vista.
Including Monday’s win over Hilltop, Otay Ranch has out-scored its last four league opponents 80-2. Overall, the Mustangs own a lethal 96-7 goal-differential in five league games.
Cristian Moran had two goals and two assists and four ground balls in Monday’s victory while Josh Owens contributed two goals and Christian Allwein, Brandon Wills and Keane Wilkinson each scored once. Otay goalie Sabin Mosier was credited with three saves.
Josh Randall and Ryan Hayes each recorded hat tricks in Eastlake’s win over Bonita Vista (4-1, 7-3).
League standings: Eastlake (5-0, 9-2); Otay Ranch (5-0, 6-4); Bonita Vista (4-1, 7-3); Hilltop (4-1, 6-4); Mar Vista (1-4, 2-4); Southwest (1-4, 1-9), Montgomery (0-5, 2-6), Chula Vista (0-5, 0-6). Independent: Olympian (2-9)
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