Mira Costa dropped an 11-5 decision to San Clemente Wednesday evening in the CIF-SS Division 2 semifinals, stopping a spirited late-season surge by the Mustangs.
Mira Costa (20-11) had a chance to set the tone early against a San Clemente team that beat the Mustangs 16-6 on Sept. 22.
However Jake Carter’s 5-meter penalty attempt on the opening possession bounced right. From there, San Clemente jumped to leads of 6-0 and 9-1.
”We missed some chances early and had to play catch-up,” Mira Costa’s Ryder Theodore said. “But I am super proud of the effort. We kept fighting.”
Theodore and Redondo transfer Kai Scarlett each had two goals for Mira Costa. Carter also scored a goal.
Christian Hosea had three goals to lead San Clemente (23-7), which is making its first final since 1991.
Mira Costa coach Jon Reichardt pulled his starters with 51 seconds left, giving them a moment to acknowledge the strides they made this season in which they forged a share of their eighth consecutive Bay League title and rode a nine-match winning streak into the semifinals.
“It was a good moment, a good sendoff,” Carter said. “We all love each other. It kind of sucks to lose, but as a junior, I know we will be ready to come back next year.”