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    Aliso Niguel girls soccer has major breakthrough with win over San Juan Hills
    • January 19, 2024

    ALISO VIEJO — It would be an understatement to say that the Aliso Niguel girls soccer team has struggled against San Juan Hills over the past decade.

    The Wolverines reversed their fortune and beat San Juan Hills 2-1 in a crucial South Coast League game Thursday at Aliso Niguel High.

    It was the first win for Aliso Niguel (5-5-2, 2-1) over the Stallions (7-5-1, 2-2) since 2008.

    “That’s amazing. I had no idea,” Aliso Niguel coach Marco Spaccini said after the victory. “That makes it even better. It was a great night.”

    Aliso Niguel beats San Juan Hills 2-1. Aliso is now in 2nd place in the South Coast League. Goals by Taryn Raibon and Alaina Villa. First win for Aliso over San Juan Hills since 2008 @ocvarsity @ocvarsityguy @SouthOCsports @latsondheimer @alisoathletics

    — Michael Huntley (@mikehuntley63) January 19, 2024

    The win put Aliso Niguel in second place in the South Coast League standings behind undefeated Capistrano Valley, which beat the Wolverines 1-0 on Jan. 9.

    “This league is one of the most competitive leagues around,” Spaccini said. “We decided to not put any pressure on the girls and take things game by game. Winning league is always our goal, but we are building a culture and giving new life to this program. That is our main focus.”

    Aliso Niguel struck first with a goal from Maryland commit Taryn Raibon in the third minute of the game. It was the first time Aliso Niguel had scored against San Juan Hills in seven games dating back to 2020.

    “I was really trying to be in attack mode,” Raibon said. “I used my body and once I got towards the corner I took a shot towards the other side of the goal and was really happy to score.”

    In the 12th minute of the game. Raibon was dribbling near the corner when the San Juan Hills defender was whistled for a foul.

    Alaina Villa took the free kick from close to the corner and made a spectacular goal over the head of the San Juan Hills goalkeeper to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead.

    “We hope to get a couple of free kicks every game because I think this is her third goal on free kicks this season,” Spaccini said of Villa. “That was a crazy shot. She’s really good.”

    San Juan Hills scored just before the half on a goal from UC San Diego signee Eva Anderson in the 36th minute. Anderson has played for the Puerto Rico national team.

    “At halftime we spent a lot of time talking about how to contain her,” Spaccini said of Anderson. “She has an amazing left foot and is physical and quick.”

    Both defenses and goalkeepers played well in the second half and avoided multiple scoring opportunities.

    Freshman goalkeeper Addison Rudel had a pair of late saves to secure the win for Aliso Niguel, and the defense of Emily Trapp, Kailiey King and Brooklyn Lira Greenwood was effective in the game’s final minutes.

    “I thought they played really well,” Raibon said. “They were really compact and were in the right defensive mindset.”

    Elena Harshman had four saves for San Juan Hills, all in the second half. Aliso Niguel had six shot attempts compared to three for the Stallions.

    San Juan Hills will host Tesoro in a league game Tuesday. The Stallions beat Tesoro 5-0 on Jan. 9.

    Aliso Niguel will play on the road against Tesoro on Saturday.

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    ​ Orange County Register