Trinity men’s soccer extended its run as the top-ranked team in the nation with two wins this weekend on the road against conference foes Centenary College and Austin College.
The team traveled to Centenary on Friday, Sept. 28 and shutout the Gents, 3-0. Junior midfielder Yuri Ribeiro netted his third multi-goal game of the season with another two-goal performance. Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Cardone recorded his fifth shutout of the year. Sophomore forward Johnny Lawson scored his first goal as a Trinity Tiger after spending last season at Luther College in Iowa.
“Every team is out to knock us off our top spot. Teams in our conference aren’t quite at our level, but they do come out and they play hard. There are no easy games; every game is a battle. We’ve done a good job of coming out and putting every team away,” Lawson said.
The Tigers then went to Austin College and routed the Kangaroos, 5-1. Riberio scored the only goal of the first half assisted by junior midfielder Darren McAfee. After halftime the goals kept coming for Trinity with first-year midfielder Tom Carwile scoring with an assist from first-year forward Victor Araujo, McAfee with an assist from Riberio, junior defender Jeffrey Hayes with assist from McAfee and, last, sophomore Claudio Calistri with an assist from junior defender M.J. Kawamoto.
Trinity’s expert defense accounted for the one and only goal scored over the weekend, the sixth goal scored against Trinity this season.
“Our defense has a lot of veterans. It helps to have experience as a group because they have confidence in each other. They’re just competing well, and they’re great leaders,” Carwile said.
Cardone played 71 minutes in net, stretching his goalless streak to over 500 minutes. For his efforts, Cardone was awarded with the SCAC Defensive Player of the Week, while McAfee won the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. This is the second week in a row in which Trinity has swept the conference’s weekly awards.
“We’re crushing the SCAC honors right now. It’s great for our team that the players are getting individual awards. They totally deserve it,” said assistant coach Edward Cartee.”Matt has been fantastic in goal all season and really stepped it up this week. He had a couple of huge saves against Centenary. Darren, as a junior captain, is probably playing at the highest level I’ve seen him. He’s playing phenomenally well right now.”
The team will now look to maintain their perfect record as they travel to Southwestern University for a game on Saturday, Oct. 6, followed by a home game against Mary-Hardin Baylor at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7.
“Southwestern always gives us a tough game and they will definitely be up for this one. We know we have to take that seriously,” Cartee said. “It’s not that often we get to have a Sunday night home game. I actually think we’re playing in two historic matches in that sense. Hopefully, we can rise to the occasion both nights.”