Injury-prone Trinity Lutheran falls to Milan

At this point in the season, Trinity Lutheran’s boys soccer team has one major goal: Get healthy before the postseason.

The Cougars are down to 12 players able to take the field, with two playing with nagging injuries, of their 16 listed on the roster.

Milan played spoilers to Trinity’s senior night Monday, edging the depleted Cougars 2-1.

In the first half, neither team could find the back of the net.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

The Cougars’ best chance came at the 30:55-mark, as Andrew Emily blasted a free kick from 45 yards just under the middle of the crossbar.

Indians keeper Hunter Gray rose up and punched the ball just as the ball was about to cross the goal line.

Out of the break, the Indians came out with new energy.

“Second half, they had some more control of the game,” Trinity coach Brandan Tabeling said. “They tired us out, like they should of, and found the back of the net twice. It was an unfortunate end to a game that was pretty close the entire time.”

With 29 minutes left, Joshua Clark shot a ball in traffic, from the top right corner of the 18-yards box, and found the top left corner to give the Indians the lead.

The Indians slotted another goal at the 2:58-mark to give themselves a cushion.

With 27 ticks left, Trent Shoemaker — who had payed goalie almost the entire game — put the Cougars on the board.

Shoemaker took a cross from AJ Goecker, spun, and scored to narrow the deficit to one.

The clock depleted before the Cougars got another chance on goal.

Milan outshot Trinity 18-12 in the contest.

In goal, Shoemaker collected 10 saves and Jacob Crockett grabbed two.

Tabeling said Shoemaker stepped up in his first appearance as a keeper.

“Jacob Keith, our starting goalie, got injured in the Warrior Cup this past weekend,” Tabeling said. “We don’t really have a back up keeper, and Trent volunteered to take the reins. I thought he did an excellent job. He ended up with 10 saves and at least four or five of them were great saves for us — he stepped in and bit the bullet.”

At halftime, the Cougars honored their seniors: Crockett, Sam Hayes, Noah Criswell and Andrew Emily.

The Cougars (4-6-3) will host Southwestern (Shelbyville) tonight before the annual Cougar Cup Saturday.

Tabeling said this year’s tournament will feature the Cougars, Southwestern and Roncalli’s junior varsity team.