Cougars lose lead late, settle for draw


For The Tribune

Coach Brandan Tabeling says his Trinity Lutheran boys’ soccer team needs to play hard until the final whistle.

The Cougars allowed Indianapolis Lutheran to score a goal with 24 seconds remaining in a 2-2 tie Monday afternoon.

After a scoreless first half, the Cougars took a 1-0 lead when Noah Criswell’s shot bounced off the Indianapolis goalkeeper, and Kash Siefker controlled the ball and put it in the net at 27:43.

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“We’ve been teaching our guys, just because it’s going down the right side doesn’t mean the left side doesn’t have anything to do,” Tabeling said.

When it’s going down the right side that means the left side is going to have the easiest chance to score. If somebody makes a mistake and misses the ball, which is what happened for Kash, you’re standing right in front of the goal with the goalie out of position and all you’ve got to do is do anything to get your body on it and deflect it in.”

Andrew Emily attempted a shot that was stopped by the Indianapolis goalie and Criswell controlled it and scored at 25:43 for a 2-0 lead.

“With Noah’s goal, it was the same thing,” Tabeling said. “Andrew plays a free kick, it takes a weird hop on a kid, bounces right over his shoulder, lands right in front of Noah, in front of the goal and puts it in the back of the net.”

The Saints’ Riley Wilson scored at 5:39 for a 2-1 score, and Garrin Hartson was able to score on a long kick from the left side for the tie with 24 ticks left.

“It wasn’t our best performance, even before the last two goals,” Tabeling said. “Our first game of the season everybody came out ready to play strong. This game we came out strong, we had a good, solid first half, tied 0-0.

“There’s still a couple things we’re trying to work with the guys as far as positioning — attacking the ball and getting aggressive, taking it to the other team in the first couple minutes of the game instead of letting them push us around, and then having to go back at them and get our groove going on. That motivated us to go.

Trinity’s best chance to score in the first half came on an attack by Sawyer Doggett, with 18 minutes on the clock, but the Saints’ goalie fell on the ball for a save.

Emily shot from midfield with 3:40 remaining, but his attempt was also stopped by the goalie.

Six minutes into the match, Trinity’s Gonzalo Garcia fell to the ground and broke a bone, just above his right wrist, and is sidelined indefinitely.

“At halftime we really didn’t have much to say,” Tabeling said. “We changed up our formation and put an extra attacker up front. We realized our defense was holding its own with four back there, take one guy out and put a second striker and try to score goals.

“It started working out good for us. We ended up getting a two-goal lead. I feel our change right there worked out how we wanted it to. We stopped focusing so much on defense, and said alright, let’s get a little more aggressive and attack, and the guys really went out there and took that to heart and went at it. It was good to see it for the first 35 minutes of the half.”

The Cougars (0-1-2) will play at Austin tonight.

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