Trinity girls soccer falls in regional final



The tournament trail of the Trinity Lutheran girls soccer team hit a stop sign in the Forest Park Class A regional finals Saturday night when the host Rangers posted a 2-0 win.

Cougars coach Thom Hayes knew it would be a tough battle going in.

“This is probably the best team we’ve seen all year,” he said. “They were so deep that it seemed like when a sub came in she was like a starter. They were just very big, very physical.”

Trinity (8-8) had 14 players, and Forest Park (13-5) had 22.

“It was a physical game, and they were just a lot bigger than us and a lot quicker,” Hayes said. “That was the difference. They controlled the game.”

The match was scoreless until Addie Weaver scored with 26:19 left in the first half.

While Trinity didn’t get any shots in the first half, Cougars goalie Genesis Munoz kept busy with 14 saves in the first 40 minutes and had 19 for the match.

Some of the wind was taken out of the Cougars’ sails early in the second half when Leah Dilger gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

Hayes said the Rangers played strong defense to prevent the Cougars from getting any shots until Sarah Lemming attempted Trinity’s only shot with 1:37 remaining in the contest.

Forest Park had 20 shots for the match.

“They were definitely crowding the middle, and when we got near it, we got pushed off the ball,” Hayes said. “The officials let them play, so we were playing as hard as we could. They had us tonight.”

Reaching the final was an achievement, however.

“We’re extremely happy with getting to the regional finals,” Hayes said. “It’s great for these seniors especially. It was very emotional tonight. We’re thrilled and ready to do it again next year.”

Flossie Cooper, Erin Enzinger and Munoz are the seniors on the Trinity roster.

Emma Myers, a sophomore forward, also thought the Rangers were extremely talented.

“They are really good at it, and they were big and aggressive,” Myers said. “They were really marking up, and when you got the ball, when you would turn, there would always be a man on you, and they would be aggressive. We just couldn’t get the shots.”

Forest Park will play Park Tudor (20-2) on Saturday at the Evansville North Semistate.

Trinity advanced to the championship game by nipping Washington Catholic 1-0, while the Rangers advanced with a 2-0 win over Oldenburg Academy.

The Cougars and Cardinals battled on even terms until KaileneCockerham received a pass from Cooper and scored at the 27:40 mark of the first half.

“We brought the ball up the side,” Hayes said of the goal. “Whether it was a shot or a cross, they played it, but they didn’t handle it well, and Kailene does what she does best and scooped it up and put it in the back of the net.”

It was the 42nd goal for Cockerham, a junior, adding to her school record.

This was Trinity’s third straight shutout in the tournament.

Hayes said he felt the defense again did an excellent job.

“It got tougher in the second half, and the (cross) wind was a factor,” he said. “That’s why we had the ball over (on one side of the field) for much of the first half, and then we got gassed and they had the wind.

“Our back four, plus Flossie playing stopper, played the best I’ve seen them play with their teamwork. One of them would challenge, the other would drop back. If they got beat, somebody was always there. The defense played amazing. We didn’t let them have any great shots, although we got one save off the crossbar. A little bit of luck always helps.”

Trinity had 10 shots this match, and Munoz had 12 saves.

“We’re thrilled,” Hayes said after the match. “Every game we win now is a benefit. We’ve had a good season.”

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