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Trinity Men’s Soccer Falls Short in SCAC Title Match to St. Thomas

Trinity Men’s Soccer Falls Short in SCAC Title Match to St. Thomas

SHERMAN, Texas – The Tiger men's soccer team fell one win short of its bid to win this year's Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship, dropping a 3-1 decision against the University of St. Thomas in the conference final on Sunday.

Senior midfielder Jack Downes (Sheffield, England / Queen Ethelburgas) got the only score of the day for Trinity, netting his third goal of the season that put the Tigers up 1-0 at the time.

Trinity falls to 9-5-3 on the season with the loss, which was the third straight SCAC Tournament loss for the Tigers against the Celts. St. Thomas defeated Trinity 1-0 in last year's SCAC title game, then also beat the Tigers 2-1 in the Semifinals of the Spring 2021 tournament.

There were three Tiger players named to the 2022 SCAC All-Tournament Team after today's match. Seniors JonConnor Rule (San Antonio, Texas / Johnson) and Fraser Burns (Dalry, Scotland / Garnock Academy) were joined by sophomore Louie Instrall (London, England / Hampton School) as this year's honorees.

As a regionally-ranked team per the NCAA heading into the weekend, Trinity will await the announcement of a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Playoffs. The Tigers have made 19 straight NCAA Tournament appearances – not counting the 2020 season that was cancelled due to COVID.

The Rundown

The Tigers took the early opportunities, taking the first two shots of the match. The second came as a set piece in the 13' served in by Jack Eubank (Raleigh, N.C. / Needham Broughton) for an attempt from Pieter Blank (The Hague, The Netherlands / Dalton Voorburg) that was left to the right of the post. Just a minute later St. Thomas had its first corner but was not able to find space for an attempt on Juan Carlos Vidales (Laredo, Texas / IMG Academy) in goal.

Michael Somerville (Ft. Worth, Texas / Arlington Heights) was the first to alert the Celts' keeper in the 17' which led to a second chance from the corner that went on without another attempt. The Celts returned the favor a few minutes later as Vidales notched his first save in the 24' to keep the game scoreless. Just a couple of minutes later, Eubank connected for another on-target attempt for Trinity.

Downes got his goal at the 30:14 mark, but not without a confusing sequence of events. The shot was fired into the corner of the goal, but somehow made its way through the netting to bounce free behind the frame. The play was initially ruled a score, then taken off the board when the ball was discovered to be on the outside of the net. The referees got together and then correctly reinstated the goal to put Trinity up 1-0.

Just over six minutes later, St. Thomas had equalized with a goal of their own less than 10 minutes from the halftime whistle. Neither team had another shot-on-goal after that and the game went to the break even at 1-1.

The second half was littered as much with cards as it was shots, as the two teams combined for seven yellow cards and a pair of red cards that led to ejections. Both teams played the final 14-plus minutes with 10 men on the field.

St. Thomas took its first lead less than three minutes into the second period to take control of the match. The Celts also picked up their first caution of the period at the same time. Less than five minutes later, Somerville was booked for the first caution for the Tigers in the period.

Instrall earned Trinity a corner kick in the 57' when his initial shot was blocked. The corner led to a header from Somerville, but that was also blocked and the score remained 2-1. Another yellow for St. Thomas came less than a minute later, and after the teams traded fouls, Chen Adjei (Euless, Texas / Trinity) had a shot that was saved to keep St. Thomas ahead.

After the save, St. Thomas had a player sent off with a straight red card and was forced to play more than 30 minutes a man down. Trinity took immediate advantage with Blank getting off a shot that was blocked and Kyle Davis (Plano, Texas / Liberty) missing wide right.

St. Thomas then put even more pressure on the Tigers by scoring a short-handed goal in the 62' to take a 3-1 advantage. Trinity had three corner kicks in less than 10 minutes after that, but none of those resulted in shots. Vidales picked up another save in the 76' to keep the game within reach, then got his final stop in the 86' minute. Adjei's attempt in the 59' proved to be the final on-target shot for Trinity as the comeback bid was not to be.

All-SCAC Tournament

The following participants in the 2022 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship were named to the all-tournament team following Sunday's contest:

Daniel Castro, St. Thomas (Offensive MVP)
Ivan Leon, St. Thomas (Defensive MVP)
Ayomide Salako, St. Thomas
Hamilton Estrada, St. Thomas
JonConnor Rule, Trinity
Fraser Burns, Trinity
Louie Instrall, Trinity
Curtis Hale, Colorado College
Alex Ward, Colorado College
Jackson DeHaven, Southwestern
Michael Grimm, Southwestern

Up Next

Trinity will await the results NCAA Selection Show that will be aired live on at 12:30 p.m. (CT), on Monday, November 7. The Tigers are seeking an at-large bid to the postseason tournament.