San Antonio - The second-ranked Trinity men's soccer team opened the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship with a 5-1 home victory Saturday night over the University of Texas-Tyler.
PAUL McGINLAY INTERVIEW
Trinity was in command from the start of the game, holding a 12-3 advantage in shots taken over the first half, and scoring four first-half goals to make for a comfortable victory.
The Tigers got off the first shot just 77 seconds into the contest, which also resulted in two corner kicks in the first two minutes of action.
Trinity was threatening again just minutes later when a failed clearance by Tyler wound up at the feet of Wesley Mitchell at the edge of the 18-yard box. Mitchell crossed it high into the front of the net, and Austin Michaelis buried the header for the game's opening goal.
Chris Madden found space down the left side less than 10 minutes later, and another high cross into the box resulted in another header goal. This time it was Quentin Van Der Lee with the eventual game-winner.
Michaelis and Mitchell hooked up again in the 26th minute, as Mitchell played the ball on the ground this time, and Michaelis poked it home with an outstretched left foot to make it 3-0 Trinity.
The Tigers continued to press for another score as the first period drew to a close, and Trinity got that goal in the 38th minute. Joshua Lai headed an attempted clearance by Tyler back to the top of the box, and Liam Looney flicked it into the area where Kellen Reid found himself one-on-one with the keeper. After a bounce, Reid's strike rocketed over the outstretched goalie for the score.
Trinity hammered out 12 more shots in the second half, though Tyler did manage to double their offensive output with six shots after the break.
Brady Johnston's try in the 65th minute rattled the cross bar, and Jack Braley's rebound shot was saved by a Tyler defender. Johnston then had another attempt saved by the goalkeeper, and the score remained 4-0.
The next score came from the Patriots, who converted in the 84th minute to break up the shutout.
Trinity's answer was quick, as Patrick Cunneff and Duncan James combined for the game's final goal in the 87th minute. Cunneff's initial shot ricocheted off the left post, and James finished with a rebound goal to close out the game.
The Tigers advanced to Sunday's second round and will take on 18th-ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX). The game will be a rematch of Trinity's opening game of the season, which the Tigers won 2-0.
Trinity has won 16 consecutive games and stands at 21-1-0 on the season. UT-Tyler finished the year with an 11-4-3 mark.
Austin Michaelis leads the team with 15 goals this season, and has accounted for 31 in his career. Michaelis is tied for 13th place in Trinity's career goals.
Goalkeeper Blake Lieberman guarded the net and produced three saves. Lieberman now has 56 saves this season, and 60 in his career. He moved up to 10th place on Trinity's all-time career list.
Trinity hosts Mary Hardin-Baylor in the NCAA second round at 7:00 p.m. Sunday.