Cougars make statement, pour in 2nd-half goals

For The Tribune

The Trinity Lutheran girls’ soccer team served notice Monday night that it is going to be a strong opponent for Southwestern (Hanover) in the Lawrenceburg Sectional next week.

The Cougars had a 1-0 lead at the half, then scored four times in the first 29 minutes of the second half for a 5-2 win against the Rebels on senior night.

Trinity coach Jeff Nolting tried different strategies, as he had scoring leader Maddie Roark play defense for the first 32 minutes of the match.

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“There were two things,” he said. “No. 1, I didn’t want to show them anything right off the bat being they are our first opponent in the sectional. I wasn’t sure what they had or didn’t have, so I really didn’t want to go head-to-head with them. I knew if they wouldn’t score or couldn’t score they weren’t going to beat us.

“It also somewhat gave the opportunity for some other players to have to do some things. I was pleased with the passing we did early in the game by multiple players, which was good to see. Sometimes when Maddie Roark has the ball the other girls tend to watch because she does so much.”

Roark scored on a penalty kick with 18 seconds left in the opening half for a 1-0 lead at intermission.

“Overall, I was real pleased how we played the first half,” Nolting said. “I thought our midfield played much better. Sometimes we have a tendency to get out of position. It’s just a characteristic of a young team that’s inexperienced.”

Roark beat the Southwestern goalie at 36:21 of the second half before the Rebels cut the lead in half seven minutes later.

Roark attacked four minutes later, but her shot was stopped and Kirstin Hoene put in the rebound and the Cougars had their two goal advantage back.

At 19:32, Roark scored her third goal and Lexi Keller closed out Trinity’s scoring at 11:47.

Maddie Bell had two assists and Savanna Setty added an assist for the Cougars.

Senior players Sabrina Vierling and Andrea Foster, and their parents, were introduced at halftime.

“They’ve meant a lot,” Nolting said. “They come out here and they work hard. Andrea Foster runs cross country. She does her cross-country training, and then she comes out here and trains with us for another hour. That speaks a lot about and her work ethic.

“Initially we started Sabrina Vierling up top in more of an offensive role. Then I put her in back and she’s had such great games and she’s basically locked that position up. She plays with a lot of hustle, she’s fearless in the back. She just does a lot of good things.”

Trinity (7-6) will travel to Batesville for a match on Friday.

That match is the championship of the Batesville Invitational that was rained-out on Sept. 9.

The Cougars will face Southwestern in the Lawrenceburg Sectional at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6.

“I think they know who they have to mark,” Nolting said. “They definitely know that, and I think this win also sends the message that you can’t just focus everything on No. 5. We’ve got some other players that can score, too. We had five different player that took a shot on goal. That’s a good sign.”

Trinity had 12 shot to 11 for Southwestern, and Cougar goalie Hailley Peters had nine saves.