October 18th, 2017

Rocks advance to Seventh Region semis

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer

Rocks advance to Seventh Region semis
Trinity’s Andrew Warren and CAL’s Benjamin Asher Benge / photo by Eric Thorne

It wasn't a perfect work of art, but the Trinity soccer team used seller defense and three different players netted goals in defeating visiting Christian Academy of Louisville 3-0 in the opening round of the Seventh Region tournament Tuesday at Marshall Stadium.

Nolan Durbin had a goal and an assist while Jack Fischer and Xander Shelby each scored a goal for the Shamrocks (16-2-1).

“We didn’t know what to expect from them, but we knew we had to stay strong because we weren’t exactly sure what they might throw at us,” Durbin said. “We thought they would play the long ball trying to get it to number 9 (Noah Wilcox) and we just needed to neutralize that.”

Trinity took control early and quickly put the Centurions (12-9-1) on their heels when Durbin drove down the left side and sent a nice pass to Shelby in full stride down the middle for the goal just 2:04 into the game.

"Hats off to CAL they had a great plan and made us earn it," Helfrich said. “I thought out effort was great tonight and I'm proud of my guys. We need to be clean things up in certain areas, but overall very pleased. "

"We were able to neutralize them on defense, and we found our weapons going forward. We got a fantastic attack, but we just need to find a little better balance on both ends."

Trinity took advantage of their aggressive attacking style for its second goal with 19:41 left in the half when Andrew Warren sent a corner kick into Brandon McManus, who eased it to Durbin, who poked it in the net for a 2-0 advantage.

While McManus was pleased with the win he agreed with his coach it wasn’t their best game.

“Definitely not our best at all tonight. We rushed everything a lot and could have scored a lot more goals,” McManus said. “We just have to calm down and play as a team. That happens every now and then, but we could have and should have scored at least three more goals.”

Helfrich wasn’t surprised by the way the Centurions played, but did like the defense and intensity his team displayed.

 "I knew Coach (Toby) Wilcox would have a great game plan and they kept us on edge for a while, but I was real proud of our back line Feed Shay and Nate Barry were absolutely terrific," Helfrich said. “We get the win and shutout which is excellent.”

While CAL turned up the intensity to start the second half it was Trinity getting an easy score when Fischer eased the ball in on a free kick that no one else touched making it 3-0.

From there Helfrich used a lot of his bench to keep fine tuning his team for a post season run.

“We’ve really started to turn it on now, and we are playing solid all around plus getting strong play and contributions off our bench,” Durbin said.

 Goalkeeper Ryan Troutman had five saves in his final game on Harry Jansing field, and the shutout was his eighth of the season.

”Every postseason game you play is tough, and since we didn't get to play them earlier this year the guys were buzzing to play,” Troutman said. "We thought they were going to pressure us a little more, but I think they got a little tired and it opened things up for us in the first half."

The win earned a rematch with arch rival St. Xavier (18-3-2) on Thursday at 7:30 in the regional semi-finals at CAL. The teams played to a 2-2 draw three weeks ago.

 "We have made tremendous progress the past few weeks we are still trying to find our stride,” Helfrich said. "I think we still have another gear to find, and I just challenged them to play better as a unit."

While Troutman and the rest of the Rocks aren’t ready to see their season end he knows their play must differ from the previous meeting to yield a better result.

"We have progressed all season upward and we will have now played four games in eight days so recovery will be key moving forward, “Troutman said. “Against St. X I think the result was actually good because we didn't play as well as we should have and they played an exceptional game. They stretched things out and their pace killed us. We learned a lot from that game and this time we have to play smarter and more organized."


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