Cougars fall in sectional championship


After a scoreless opening half, the dam broke for Trinity Lutheran’s boys soccer team.

The Cougars was able to hold Class A No. 17 Oldenburg Academy scoreless in the opening minutes, but the Twisters hit their stride in the closing 40 as they took the Jac-Cen-Del Sectional championship 4-0 on Saturday.

Trinity bolstered their back line’s numbers, knowing that the Twisters had firepower in the midfield.

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“We kind of changed our formation and game plan coming into this,” Trinity coach Brandan Tabeling said. “They’re a good, position-based team that knocks the ball around to the middle. Our plan was to get through the first 5-10 minutes and get them frustrated. The next part was that we wanted to keep it 0-0 through halftime. The longer you shut them out and frustrate them things break down.”

Oldenburg put the pressure on early.

The Cougars didn’t get much of an opportunity on goal until Kohei Nagino hit a rebound off a corner kick at the 12:19 mark.

Tabeling said that the opening 10 minutes of the second half were a key point in the game.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, the flood gates opened right at the start of the second half.

The Twisters’ Stuart Lamping headed an airborne cross in from five yards, by Nicholas Moorman, at the 39:23-mark to put the team up 1-0.

Moorman found Lamping again at 35:51, but this time Lamping slotted a shot from inside the box on the ground.

At 22:03 Benjamin Kraus cleaned up a loose ball for a goal before Samuel Ripped flashed some footwork with a turnaround score from 18 yards at 16:29.

Nagino had a free kick saved at 6:58 and Trent Shoemaker bounced one off the crossbar at 16:35 for the Cougars.

“This is nothing against our guys, but we knew that against a team like this, if it was going to be a 1-0 game it would have been in our favor,” Tabeling said. “A team like (Oldenburg), once you get the first goal everything is cleaner and the goals come more easily.”

Oldenburg outshot Trinity 17-7 and Cougars keeper Jacob Keith tallied six saves.

Kegan Prentice, Skyler Stahl and Kohei Nagino will leave the Cougars’ program.

Trinity Lutheran (3-10-1) will return 10 players to next year’s roster.