Cougars advance to sectional title game with win over Austin

Coach Thom Hayes said he felt like the first half of Thursday’s Trinity Lutheran-Austin match in the Trinity sectional was like a warm up for his team.

“We kind of go here late,” he said. “I think they were taking the game for granted a little bit, and Austin was warming up well in advance. So our first half was really our warm up. At halftime I told them to just start playing now and they responded to that.”

Providence defeated Brown County 9-0 in the first match Thursday night. When one team is nine goals ahead of the other team the match is stopped.

Trinity senior Emma Myers kick from the right of the goal went past the Austin keeper with 11:36 remaining in the first half.

The score remained 1-0 until Myers scored at 27:55 of the second half, and the Cougars added four more goals for a 6-0 final, marking the second time this season that the Cougars had defeated the Eagles by that score.

Myers scored four goals to push her season total to 41 and her career mark to 72, both Trinity records.

Myers tried a corner kick with 20:12 remaining. The ball got loose in front of the Austin goal and Delaney Williams put in a header for a 5-0 lead.

Layla Jones scored Trinity’s second goal of the second half. Kathryn Whitmore, Bailey Reimer, Dianna Munoz and Kaydence miller had assists for the Cougars who outshot Austin 30-2.

Hayes said the Cougars played much better in the second half.

“We did a better job on the 50-50 balls in the second half. The first half we were just letting them get anything that was loose. They were much faster than us,” he said. “The second half we were getting to the balls quicker. We were using our bodies. We scored another header on a corner which is a big improvement for our team to use your head, trap the ball on your chest, things like that that it takes to win those 50-50 balls.”

This was Trinity’s third straight shutout as the Cougars blanked Southwestern (Hanover) Tuesday night and Herron last Saturday.

Samantha Enzinger had two saves for the Cougars. She was in goal for the first 67 minutes Tuesday night before Munoz tended the net the final 13 minutes.

Enzinger said, “This game, and especially Tuesday, we did a really good job stopping the ball up front instead of it coming back.”

The Cougars (11-7) will play Providence (14-2) at 3 p.m. Saturday for the championship. Providence defeated Trinity 10-0 early in the season.

Hayes said the Cougars are going to have to play mistake-free from the start.

“We’re going to be focused on defense and counter-attack,” he said. “With a team that talented that is going to have to be our strategy.”

Enzinger said, “I think we need to keep being aggressive. We really picked up our aggression in the second half and I think that helped a lot, and our speed and our focus toward the ball.”

Trinity won a sectional title in 2020 and Providence won the sectional last fall.

In the Trinity boys sectional championship match, Rock Creek will play Lanesville. That match will start at 7 p.m. Saturday.