The Trinity men’s soccer team suffered a disappointing loss Tuesday evening in an SCAC conference game against Southwestern. The Tigers took control of the game from the very beginning and dominated possession throughout the entire game. They had a total of 38 shots on goal to the Pirates’ four, but were ultimately unable to score.
“I thought we played really well even though the score didn’t reflect that. We played the best offense we have all season, but we just couldn’t score a goal. That’s just how soccer is sometimes,” said senior right-back M.J. Kawamoto.
Senior midfielder Yuri Ribeiro had the crowd on its feet multiple times with free kicks that seemed as if they were in the back of the net, but Southwestern goalkeeper Daniel Poole kept the Tigers scoreless.
“As a team we needed to create better scoring options, but we got frustrated and started taking more shots instead of creating better opportunities for our forwards,” said sophomore midfielder Brad Carabajal.
The Pirates’ only goal resulted from a penalty kick awarded to Matthew Nickell in the 73rd minute.
“When you’re going up against an average team that is hardworking, you have to capitalize on your chances. We hit the crossbar a few times and had other chances to score; we just weren’t able to convert. Ultimately their goalkeeper had an outstanding night, and for them that proved to be enough. We were disappointed in the result, not in the players. They did everything right, everything that we asked them to do. From a coaching staff standpoint, we played our best game to date, but just ended on the wrong side of the result,” said assistant coach Chesley Farmer.
Over the weekend, the team traveled to Hardin-Simmons to play two games. The men beat Hardin-Simmons 2-1 on Friday and drew 1-1 against University of Texas-Dallas on Saturday.
“The first game playing Hardin-Simmons on their home field was a total wake-up call for us because they came out very passionate and with a lot of intensity. Our players had to be focused and in tune with the game right from the beginning, but we matched their intensity,” Farmer said.
Hardin-Simmons scored first, but first-year midfielder Goncalo Santana tied the game with a goal in the 44th minute. Ribeiro scored the game-winning goal in the 65th minute, his second of the season.
On Saturday Trinity played their second game of the weekend against University of Texas at Dallas. They tied the Comets 1-1 after a double over-time game and 110 minutes of play.
“Saturday’s game was tough because it was our second game in less than 24 hours, so we didn’t have much rest,” Carabajal said.
The Comets scored in the second half at the 79th minute. Santana scored a goal in the last minute to tie the game, causing the game to go into over-time. Santana’s performance in the weekend games earned him SCAC Offensive Player of the Week.
“We were all really pumped up because we had just scored in the 89th minute and we were all really motivated and thought we could get the win in OT, so that really pushed us through,” Kawamoto said.
Despite their fatigue, the team remained determined throughout the double over-time.
“Our guys were tired and you could tell we had heavy legs. Some of our decisions were not made well and we were struggling to finish the game, but we never quit, and we scored the tying goal in the last minute. The team showed a lot of concentration and never gave up,” Farmer said.
The Tigers’ next game is home against Texas Lutheran at 8 p.m. next Friday at McGinlay Field.
“We’ve had a rough start, but it’s not about how the season starts, it’s about how the season ends. Hopefully, in the long run, we will learn from these losses so that we can improve throughout the season,” Kawamoto said.