March 29th, 2012
Crosse Roads: Trinity Tops Rival St. Xavier
Zehnder's five goals lead Shamrocks to 17-10 rivalry win
The Trinity High School lacrosse team was just one win away from completing an undefeated season and preventing St. Xavier from capturing a fourth straight state championship last season.
Despite a regular season victory over the Tigers, however, the Shamrocks went on to lose 9-5 to St. X in the finals and watched as their rivals celebrated on Trinity's home turf.
On Wednesday, the Rocks emphatically showed its desire to once again block a fifth straight title for the Tigers as Trinity put on an impressive offensive display and picked up a convincing 17-10 victory over St. Xavier in a regular season LAX matchup at Brother Thomas More Stadium.
The Shamrocks seemed to score at will and took an astounding 35 shots on goal during the contest against a St. X defense that had trouble stopping a relentless Trinity attack.
“I thought we came out and stickhandled well, shared the ball well. When our six guys on offense play together they’re all good,” said Trinity head coach Pete Schroeder. “We present some matchup problems for teams. (St. X) ran some zone tonight and we scored. They ran some man-to-man, we scored. We just had it going.”
“Hats off to our kids. They were terrific and get all the credit.”
Trinity junior attacker Austin Zehnder scored a game-high five goals to pace the Rocks’ offensive effort. Kevin Sims notched three goals and two assists, while Mitchell Kraus also slammed home a hat trick to go along with an assist in the win.
That trio combined for 11 of Trinity’s 17 goals, but Schroeder said he was equally impressed with the players who remained active even if they didn’t have direct possession of the ball.
“The trick is playing without the ball,” said Schroeder. “There’s one ball and six players, so five guys have to be able to play without it. And we’ve got five guys on offense that can play at any one time without it. They did that well today. The main thing is passing up good shots for really good shots, and we got those.”
Kraus opened the game with a Shamrock goal, but the score was quickly tied on a goal from St. Xavier senior Seth Gray with 7:55 to go in the opening period. Gray finished the game with Tiger team-highs in goals (3) and assists (2) and took six shots on goal.
Trinity took control of the game just 24 seconds after Gray tied it up, as the Shamrocks rattled off five straight goals during a four-minute span, including goals by Kraus and Zehnder just six seconds apart.
By the time St. Xavier’s Gray notched his team’s second goal with 47 seconds left in the first quarter, Trinity had already built a 6-2 lead and took a 7-2 lead into the second period.
The Shamrocks scored four more goals in a row to take a commanding 11-2 lead and outscored St. Xavier 4-1 during the second quarter and took an 11-3 lead into the halftime break.
Zehnder scored three of his five goals in the third quarter and contributed to the Rocks’ continued onslaught. His fifth and final goal of the game gave Trinity a 15-5 lead with 4:26 to go in the third quarter. He finished with five goals on seven shots on goal and was extremely efficient from all spots on the field.
“He shot the ball extremely well from outside. He even dodged and got one (goal) inside too,” said Schroeder of Zehnder. “He’s a kid that his freshman year he’s on the fifth midfield, which is no-man’s land. But he’s really, really worked on his game, played a bunch last year and this year he’s getting even better.”
Trinity threatened to go up by 12 goals on several occasions, which would have resulted in an early finish to the game due to the mercy rule. The Tigers did manage to hang tough and avoided this scenario, but never got within seven goals of the Rocks during the game’s final 31 minutes.
Franklin Sumner (2), Brad Lott (1), Davis Church (1), Blake Burger (1) and Jackson Lienhart (1) also scored goals for the Shamrocks during the win. Cole Killion, Will Frey and Landon Adkins each recorded an assist.
Trinity finished with 9 team assists with the 17 total goals.
St. Xavier dropped to 4-4 on the season with the loss, but got some strong performances from Brad Schickel (2 goals, 1 assist), Zayne Smith (2 goals, 1 assist) and Patrick Muldoon (2 goals). Junior Aaron Copeland had a pair of assists for the Tigers.
Andrew Boeckmann scored a goal for St. X in the losing effort.
As mentioned, Trinity also defeated St. X during the 2011 regular season before losing to them in the state championship game. Shamrocks’ head coach Schroeder, who also took over as head coach of the Kentucky Stickhorses – Louisville’s professional indoor lacrosse team – earlier this year, said his Trinity team will keep its focus even though it turned in a strong performance on Wednesday.
“We’ll celebrate the win, I promise we’ll do that. But we’ve got to keep the bigger prize in mind,” said Schroeder. “We just keep getting better every day and we’ll see where that takes us. St. X will have better days than they did today and we’ll expect that in the playoffs.”
St. Xavier plays again on Sunday and will welcome St. Joseph’s (South Bend, IN) to campus. Trinity will play a pair of games this weekend in Ohio, taking on Loveland and Mason on Friday and Saturday.
The Kentucky high school boys’ lacrosse state playoffs begin on May 12.
To view video highlights from Wednesday's game, visit: http://catholicsportsnet.com/louisville/view_csn_video/272