October 19th, 2011
Titans Eliminate Trinity Again With 2-0 Win
Collegiate earns regional championship win over Shamrocks
On a rainy, blustery night at Trinity High School's Marshal Stadium, the Shamrocks' hopes of returning to the state soccer tournament for the first time since 2009 were washed away, as Louisville Collegiate shut out Trinity and captured the 7th Region Championship with a 2-0 win over Trinity on Wednesday night.
It was the Titans' second straight regional title win over the Rocks. Collegiate shocked Trinity with the regional finals victory in a shootout in 2010.
After an extremely physical and scoreless first half, the Titans got two goals four minutes apart midway through the second half to earn the win. Collegiate junior Kennedy Kommor served up what would ultimately be the game winner - a blast by Shamrocks goalkeeper Chris Hubbard with 26:59 to go in the game.
"I think the biggest difference in the game was the 50-50 balls. Of the balls in the air, (Collegiate) won just about every one of them," said Trinity Head Coach Barry Swearingen. "We can play with a lot of passion.....but it's hard to possess (the ball) when you don't have possession and I think that's what happened to us. We were constantly chasing. We played more into their hands than anything."
One of the game's most critical moments came with just 28:15 to go in the first half, as Trinity senior Joe Sykes slipped on the wet field while pursuing the ball. Sykes immediately grabbed his knee in agony and was on the ground for several minutes before being helped off the field by Trinity head trainer Bill Cubbage.
Sykes, who was third in both goals scored and assists for the Shamrocks during the season, would not return. His diagnosis after the game was a strained Patellar tendon.
"It does play a role," said Swearingen of Sykes' injury, "but you've got to be strong. You've got to be mentally tough to get past (a teammate's) injury or fouls or whatever it may be. You've got to play the game and tonight we just didn't do it. There are no excuses."
Swearingen also disregarded the less than ideal weather conditions as being an issue during the game.
"I don't think the weather was really a factor. I think we effected ourselves," said Swearingen. "(Collegiate) played extremely tough and all the credit goes to them for playing as hard as they do. But we were a step slow."
Collegiate, which lost a key player of its own when senior Jack Lidner went down with a significant knee injury just as the first half came to a close, went up 2-0 with 23:34 remaining when Titans sophomore Fabrice Shema sent a shot toward the Trinity goal. Hubbard stepped forward to make the save but the ball squirted away, and Collegiate's Ethan Perellis slipped behind Hubbard to take advantage and finish the play and nudge the ball into the net.
Hubbard finished with seven saves but spent the entire second half kicking straight into a howling wind, which cut into his length-of-the-field kicks.
Collegiate goalie, junior David Keyer, finished with 12 saves and the complete game shutout.
Trinity started the 2011 season with a 17-game winning streak and seemed poised for a long postseason run after winning its first three playoff games by a combined total of 19-0, including a 5-0 win over the same Louisville Collegiate team in last week's 13th District Championship. But on Wednesday it was the Titans that were still standing regardless of Trinity's 21-win season.
Despite the loss, Trinity's head coach was pleased with what his team accomplished this season.
"This is the most enjoyable coaching experiences I've had in the 11-plus years I've coached," said Swearingen. "Whatever I asked of them in practice they did, and that's all you can ask for as a coach. In games they killed themselves for me and that's what you want. And this group of seniors is part of the reason I came back to coach. I enjoy being around those guys and working with them."
"We're a young team and the future is bright."
Trinity senior Ben Sykes and sophomore Jacob Dickerson were named to the All-7th Region Tournament Team following the game.