Trinity soccer competed in the first rounds of the NCAA tournament this past weekend.
The men’s team defeated UT Dallas 3-0 then moved on to beat Redlands with a score of 1-0 in the second round.
The Tigers started off strong, getting on the board against UT Dallas within the first four minutes of the game with a goal by sophomore forward Daniel Ruano assisted by senior forward Derrick Horvath.
The next two goals were both made by first years. Christian Sakshaug scored in the 23rd minute of the game, and Ryan Hunter expand the lead in the 66th minute of the game.
Senior captain Chad Margotta had four saves, making this the sixteenth shutout for the Tigers.
“Our team is ready to do it this year,” Margotta said. “We know we have the ability to win the national championship; we just have to keep playing like we’ve been playing, and we will dominate teams.”
Posting another shutout, the Tigers moved on to defeat Redlands 1-0 with another goal from Hunter in the 39th minute, his seventh goal of the season.
Each round becomes harder and harder, making it more crucial to finish with the season on the line.
“Approaching and focusing on the games one at a time will be our keys to success,” Margotta said. “Guys have settled into their roles on the field and know what must be done for us to win.”
This Saturday, the Tigers play third-ranked Brandeis to compete in the Sweet 16 with hopes of moving on to the Elite Eight.
The women’s team had an incredible win over UT-Tyler last Friday going into penalty kicks.
Julia Camp scored the one and only goal for Trinity in the 29th minute, assisted by Colleen Markey. Later in the match, the teams were tied, leaving the score at 1-1 for the entirety of the match including two overtimes.
Going into penalty kicks, the Tigers pulled out an intense 4-3 win over the Patriots thanks to crucial saves by goalie Janie Thompson.
Every penalty kick came with high tensions for not only shooter but also the goalie, and to pull out a win like that takes a lot of grit and mental toughness from every player on the team.
The Tigers were then eliminated in a heartbreaking 0-2 game against Hardin-Simmons the following day.
The team fought hard, making 21 shots total, seven of those being shots on goal.
Overall, the team has had a very successful season led by senior captains Kim Polasek, Maggie Olvera and Emily Donnan who have a key role in the team’s progression throughout the year.
“We had a fantastic season this year,” said senior captain Kim Polasek. “Every girl on this team was integral to our success, and throughout the season, different girls were required to step up at different times. Although we fell short in the NCAA tournament, the growth of this team from preseason until the end was incredible, which is why we don’t measure our success based on that one result.”
The women’s soccer team finished the season with a 19-1-2 record, which is nothing to be ashamed of.
The team this year consisted of a lot of first-years, and it has a lot to look forward to in coming seasons.
Polasek speaks on what she will miss most about her team.
“These girls I’ve been lucky enough to have as teammates are the ones who have inspired, supported and pushed me to become a better player and person every single day,” Polasek said. “The culture of this program is so incredible and isn’t one you can find just anywhere. I know the friendships I’ve created while here extend well beyond the soccer field, and I am so thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Such a strong team chemistry goes a long way off the field and really helps build the team before games even begin.
The Tigers will continue their play next spring in their off-season games.
Major: Marketing Job Title: Sports Reporter Hometown: Houston Volleyball, I hate mint gum and I used to have a horse named bunny.