The men’s soccer team suffered a 2-0 loss last Friday evening to Luther College. This was their first home opener defeat in four years. Originally ranked eighth out of all Division III soccer teams in the nation, the Trinity men were taken aback by two goals early in the first quarter by the unranked Luther College team.
“It was a rather unfortunate evening,” said assistant coach Chesley Farmer. “We came out unemotional in the beginning and the other team quickly capitalized on their two main scoring chances by putting on the gun early on. Meanwhile, we just didn’t create a whole lot going forward, it was an overall flat performance. The challenge, however, is responding as a team to such a painful defeat.”
Luther College scored just 19 minutes into the game, and followed up with a second goal with seven minutes left in the period. Despite a push in the second half by the Tigers, with 10 out of their 15 shots attempted, Luther College goalkeeper Peter Wright blocked all attacks. Meanwhile, junior goalie Matt Cardone of Trinity blocked two attempted goals, also in the second half of the game.
“Overall, Friday night was a low point for the team, but in the Sunday night game we came together to play like we should have been playing all along,” Cardone said.
During the Sunday night game against University of Puget Sound, the Trinity men gathered themselves for a comeback 1-0 win.
“We hoped for a positive and encouraging response after Friday night,” Farmer said. “Simply utilizing a few more chances offensively can be incredibly important.”
Leading off the offensive end, junior Victor Araujo scored the game-winning 25-yard shot 80 minutes into the game. This was the first goal for the Tigers this season.
In addition, junior Roberto Camargo, senior Yuri Ribeiro and sophomore Emmanuel Raranje all had two shots on the goal. Overall, the Trinity men outshot the Puget Sound Loggers by 20-7 attempts, 10 of which were shots on a goal, and only one of which hit the net. Cardone also recorded a shut-out and five saves, three of which were during the first half of the game.
Two first-time starters also led the Tigers Sunday evening. First year Francisco Vasquez started on left defense along with fellow defender senior Ben Anderson.
“Coach told us to think of Sunday night as the beginning of our season. We did our best to bury the Friday night game from our memories,” Anderson said. “Overall, I think the team was happy with our performance (against the University of Puget Sound), but at the same time we recognize that there are still many more improvements and hours of training that we need to put in.”
Trinity is playing Hardin Simmons University today in Abilene, Texas, and will be playing University of Texas-Dallas tomorrow, also in Abilene.
The Tigers will have their first conference game at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, against Southwestern University at home. The Tigers will then play four more home conference games before hitting the road.