The Tiger Soccer team went on the road Thursday night to face the third-ranked Oldham County Colonels. The Tigers responded to adversity and came back to get the win after being down 3-1 with 12 minutes remaining. Seniors Trent Stigler and Colin Kremer along with sophomore Lucas Mudd supplied the goals tonight.
The Tigers started off slow against the physical style of the Colonels. Early in the game junior goalie Clayton Allen made a few saves including a spectacular diving save in the 5th minute. The Tigers’ best chance of the first half came when sophomore Bennett Moorman dribbled past the Colonel defender and dropped one off to Stigler. Stigler ripped a shot, but the OC goalie, who played a solid game, saved it with relative ease. A ball finally found its way into the back of the net when the Tigers’ back line had a miscommunication which resulted in an empty net opportunity for the Oldham County forward. The score would remain 1-0 up to halftime. But, if not for a few Clayton Allen saves, the score could have been much worse for the Tigers.
At the beginning of the second half, the Colonels added another goal on a perfectly placed shot. That goal made the score 2-0 in the 46th minute. The Tigers finally got on the board when senior Graham Reynolds drew a penalty. Stigler put it in and brought the Tigers to within one with 24 minutes left in the game. With just over 15 minutes remaining, the Colonels scored once more, putting them ahead 3-1. It looked like the Tigers were out of it when, in the 68th minute, Stigler headed a corner kick in. The Tigers were pressing and trying to get the ball forward when, in the 72nd minute, Kremer, thanks to a Stigler pass, was able to get the shot past the keeper to bring the score to 3-3.
A draw would have been a more than satisfactory result given how the game had started, but in the 76th minute Mudd, thanks to another beautiful pass from Stigler, was able to beat the OC keeper and give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. That would be the score at the final buzzer, and the Tiger’s magnificent comeback was complete.
“This game meant a lot to the entire team,” Mudd said. “We were down 2-0, and we came together, and we got some good goals. We just have to keep it up.”
Stigler, who scored two goals and assisted on the others, credited the comeback to the defense.
“Honestly, it started with our defense. Brett [Hulsmeyer] came in, he played like a man. [Andrew] Schnurr played like a man the whole game,” Stigler said. “The team rallied around the captains and picked our game up in the second half.”
The Tigers came into the game as the lower ranked of the two soccer teams, and for the first 50 minutes it looked like that was the case. In the end, the Tigers were able to orchestrate a comeback, scoring 3 goals in under 8 minutes. And like senior Nick Eimers said after the game, “It’s non-stop from here boys.”
Tiger Soccer has been busy getting wins these past two weeks, but senior Trent Stigler found time to answer 20 questions with our good friends over at Louisville Catholic Sports. Check out the article here.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
19. If time machines were real, and you could choose just one – to travel forward or backward – which would you select and why? I would travel backward because I love classic cars, cheap prices, and I’d want to see my parents when they were young.
20. If you could pick one person, dead or alive, and ask them just one question that they had to answer honestly, who would you pick and what would you ask? I would ask an Egyptian pyramid builder how the pyramids were built.
The Tiger Soccer team only led for a total of 37 seconds but that’s all they needed, as the Tigers pulled out the 2-1 thriller over Daviess County on Saturday afternoon. Seniors Trent Stigler and Colin Kremer led the way for the Tigers in the scoring department in the 55th and 79th minute, respectively.
“We got a week full of games coming up and two good wins in a row right there,” Kremer said. “They’re top 10 ten in the state, so it was good to take them down on our home field.”
The Tigers had multiple opportunities in the early portion of the game to score a goal, but the Daviess County goalie was able to keep the shots in front of him. Junior Sam Graber had a great shot on goal in the 23rd minute and forced the Panthers’ goalie to make a good save. Six minutes later though, it was Daviess County who scored the first goal of the game. The Panthers led St. X 1-0 in the 29th minute.
With time running down late in the first half, Kremer ripped a shot from 25 yards out, but it went left of the goal. Daviess County took the lead going into halftime up 1-0.
In the 55th minute, Stigler scored the equalizer off a Penalty Kick to tie the game up at one. When it hit the 70th minute, everything seemed to speed up, as both teams tried to find the game winning goal. Kremer was the one to find the back of the net in the 79th minute for the game winner and to give St. X the 2-1 win.
“I saw Bennett Moorman dribbling down the field, and he got tangled up with one of their defenders,” Kremer said. “They both went down, and I took over. I missed a breakaway earlier in the game, so I wanted to make that one.”
Tiger Soccer moves to 2-1 on the season.
NEXT GAME: Tuesday @ Floyd Central – 7:30 pm
The Tiger Soccer team didn’t let a loss on Tuesday effect them, as they dominated Collegiate 4-1 in the season’s home opener Thursday night. Trent Stigler and Matthew Phelan were the stars of the night on offense, as they both scored 2 goals.
The scoring started early for the Tigers Thursday night with Stigler scoring his first goal in the 9th minute. He failed to capitalize on a penalty kick two minutes before, but he took advantage of the ball being tossed around inside the box and lobbed the ball over the goalie’s head. The score remained the same until after halftime when Stigler scored again in the 45th minute. This time with an assist from Colin Kremer.
The Tigers weren’t done scoring though, as Phelan scored two goals in two minutes. In the 55th and 57th minute, Phelan got the ball behind the goalie and increased the lead to 4-0.
“It’s was a statement game for us,” Phelan said. “After losing 3-0 against Central Hardin, that we can come back here and win 4-1 against Collegiate, our bitter rivals, it’s a big confidence booster.”
Although the Tigers did win 4-1, it’s early on in the season and there are still things to work on.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Phelan said. “We possessed the ball pretty well out there but then we would lose it after a little while. I think our intensity was good, but overall sharpness and precision of passing needs to get better so that we can tire teams out with our possession.”
NEXT GAME: vs. Daviess County | Home | Saturday – 1:30 pm
Soccer was the main focus Wednesday night, as the St. X and Trinity teams congregated at Brother Thomas More Stadium in a showdown of bitter archrivals. The Shamrocks, who are currently ranked #1 in the state, showed their tremendous skill and experience, as they marched into the Tigers’ house and defeated St. X by a final score of 2-0.
Though the score appears one sided, the game was evenly played by both teams up through the first 65 minutes. The Tigers controlled possession for a major chunk of the first half.
After 11 minutes of play, St. X had their first defensive breakdown, allowing Trinity to find an easy path to the goal. Senior goalkeeper Alex Popovich was not ready to let the Rocks score yet, though, and stopped two point-blank attempts by the Trinity forwards, boosting the Tigers’ on-field adrenaline and energizing the home crowd.
The Tigers pressed Trinity early on, and almost converted on multiple occasions. Klayton Grimes gave a hard shot on goal in the 14th minute, but the ball fell right into the hands of the Trinity keeper. Junior Graham Reynolds later missed an open opportunity in the 17th minute with his bicycle kick attempt.
The score was knotted at 0-0 through the first 40 minutes of action.
“We started playing really well in the second half,” junior midfielder Trent Stigler said. “We finally started getting our flow together.”
Stigler, who has been one of the Tiger’s best scoring assets throughout the season, gave St. X a huge chance in the 43rd minute when he one-timed a shot from far outside the box, hitting the top right crossbar. The Tigers carried the momentum of the game into the 54th minute, where Dean Mock created a fast break. Mock found running room in front of him, but missed the goal with his shot.
Two minutes later, Stigler found Mock’s head on a cross into the box, but the redirected shot nearly missed left of the net.
In the 69th minute, the momentum shifted, as Trinity drew a free kick on the edge of St. X’s box. Trinity forward Greg Fischer shot the free kick towards the top left corner, where the ball floated to the back of the Tiger’s net for the game’s first goal.
“When Fischer hit the free kick, our momentum stopped,” Stigler candidly explained.
“After Trinity got the free kick, we went to three defenders back on defense so we could try to get more offense going,” said senior midfielder and captain Clay Brown. “That may have led to easier opportunities (for Trinity) up top. We just had a mentality that if we were going to go down, we would go down swinging.”
St. X’s strategic hopes did not come to fruition, and the stretched defense allowed Trinity to score again in the 73rd minute, giving the Rocks a 2-0 advantage heading into the final minutes of the match.
After 80 minutes of play elapsed, the Rocks claimed the victory. Although a loss to your rival in front of a rowdy Rage Cage inevitably hurts, the team remains confident that they can step up when it matters.
“Come tournament time, this teams needs to be at its peak,” Brown explained with a hint of urgency. “It can absolutely happen.”
“We need to learn how to come back after a goal,” Stigler asserted. “We can’t keep putting our heads down. We need to find a way to get that win back.”
Next on the Tigers’ agenda is their trip to St. Louis, Missouri, where they will face some of the top high school programs in the nation in the Gateway City Classic tournament. The road trip will surely help St. X in continuing preparation for Regional Tournament time, and it could even result in a few W’s for the squad.
Saint Xavier High School did not take home the soccer state championship last season after capturing back-to-back titles the previous two seasons.
However, that may not necessarily be a bad thing. This year’s group of Tigers are hungrier than ever to reclaim their spot atop the mountain.
St. X loses 12 seniors from last season’s team, including prolific strikers Joe Workman and Jack Somervell along with a premier goalkeeper in Wes Luvisi. Although the Tigers lose a lot of talent from graduation, they still have a lot of skill and ability to work with.
“We still have a lot to work on, but we have the potential to make a run in the (state) tournament this year,” says senior striker Klayton Grimes. “We don’t have any star players. We are just a solid team.”
It will be up to Grimes and fellow senior striker Dean Mock to replace the production of Workman and Somervell. Workman led the team in goals during both his junior and senior seasons, and it will be very interesting to see if Mock and Grimes can fill the large shoes of the departed seniors.
The state of affairs in the midfield is perhaps the most exciting part of this year’s Tigers. Wizard midfielders Bobby Buse and Matt “Kid” Effinger are no longer a part of the squad, but there are plenty of promising Tigers to make up for the losses. Seniors Zach Vititoe, Clay Brown, Andrew Schaefer, and Austin Goodman will be great, and they will also be aided by juniors Trent Stigler and Colin Kremer. Stigler and Kremer logged very important minutes on the varsity stage last season as sophomores, and they could be in store for huge third seasons.
The back end of Tiger Soccer should be as impressive as ever. Luvisi graduates, but the Tigers return another stellar stopper in senior Alex Popovich. Much like it was last season with Luvisi, it will be extremely tough for opponents to get anything past him, as his quick insticts and agility allow him to react to any shot in an instant.
Grimes says that St. X’s depth will help the Tigers a lot, but one thing the team needs to work on is making all the players work in synchronized organization.
“One of our strengths this year will be our numbers. We have a lot of players who can come off the bench and play,” Grimes explains. “We still need to work on our communication, though. The key to making the run (to state) will be leadership.”
Regardless of how much talent a team has at its disposal, it really helps when a strong head coach can anchor the unit. Luckily for St. X, it has one of the best in Andy Schulten. He has proven through the years that he is one of the best coaches in America, even winning the National Coach of the Year one season. The players recognize how important he and top assistant Nathan Durbin are to team success.
“They are vital to the team,” says Grimes. “They push us everyday in practice and make us better players everyday.”
The Tigers began their season on Tuesday with a 4-1 victory over Christian Academy in a scrimmage. Brown and Schaefer each put two shots pass the Centurion goalie to fuel St. X. It wasn’t hard at all to notice Schaefer’s impact on the game; he was a blur, flying everywhere and constantly disrupting CAL’s rhythm.
Brown was happy to be on the field with his teammates for the first time in while. Like many players and fans, he’s excited for what this season could hold.
“It felt good to be back out there with the team,” Brown says. “We still have a couple of holes we need to fill to be where we want, but I think we have the right people out there to fill them.”