Last weekend the No. 7 ranked Trinity men’s soccer team won the NCAA DIII Tournament regionals round. The Tigers shutout California Lutheran and Puget Sound and are now 20-2-1 for the season. They will travel to Iowa this weekend for sectionals.
On Saturday, Trinity defeated Cal-Lutheran 2-0. Junior forward Johnny Lawson scored in the 14th minute of the game, his 15th of the season, on assists from senior forward Yuri Ribeiro and senior midfielder Darren McAfee. Junior midfielder Simon Uribe scored the Tigers’ second goal of the game in the 10th minute of the second half on an assist from Ribeiro. Junior goalkeeper Matt Cardone recorded a career-high 10 saves during the game, while Cal Lutheran goalkeeper’s recorded 14.
“We actually played better than the score line indicated. We were offside a lot, particularly in the first half, so that denied some goal scoring opportunities. It could have easily been 5-0 or 6-0. We didn’t play our best. We should have won by a more comfortable margin, but in the end, we had two very good goals, got the job done and were able to keep the squad mostly fresh for Sunday’s game,” said assistant coach Edward Cartee.
Trinity went on to defeat Puget Sound 4-0 on Sunday evening in the second round of the tournament.
“On Saturday, we came out knowing that Cal Lutheran was going to be a hard team to play against. They kind of sat back so it was harder for us to break them down and score, whereas opposed to Sunday’s game, it was more open, especially in the second half, so we could find those goals we needed to advance to the next round,” said sophomore midfielder Zach Brock.
Brock scored first for the Tigers in the last 15 seconds of the first half on an assist from senior defender Jeff Hayes. Hayes scored in the 63rd minute of the game on an assist from Ribeiro. Uribe scored two minutes later on another assist from Ribeiro. Ribeiro now has 18 assists for the season and is second in Trinity’s record book for the most assists in a single season; he is one assist away from Noe Casanova’s old record of 19, set in 2008. First-year forward Callum Squires scored the Tigers’ last goal of the game, an overhead kick, in the 78th minute. Sophomore midfielder Murray Fraser and first-year midfielder Todd Edwards combined for the assist.
“We knew that Puget Sound would be a tough opposition, but we also knew that they would be tired because they had a long hard game the night before, so we were desperate to outwork them. Brock’s goal in the last seconds of the first half broke the opposition. It changed the game completely, and in the second half we just pushed on,” Squires said.
With the wins, Trinity will advance to the third-round of the tournament, competing against Wartburg (17-4-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in Dubuque, Iowa. If they win Saturday night, they will go on to play the winner of the Loras (17-1-3) vs. Westminster (13-8-1) game at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24. Loras’ website will have a live webcast of both games available to watch.
Should the Tigers win the next two matches, they will advance to the NCAA Final Four for the first time since the 2007 season. For those matches, the team would return home to San Antonio as both the men’s and women’s Final Fours are being held on Dec. 6-7 at Blossom Stadium. The Tigers are striving to win the national championship ten years after the school’s only other title in 2003.