Tigers knocked out by West Shore in girls soccer district semifinals
Holy Trinity senior Julia McCarthy heads the ball during Monday night's Class 3A, District 10 semifinal against West Shore in a game played at Melbourne Central Catholic. West Shore won 2-1.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
There was disappointment, of course.
But if there was one thing Holy Trinity girls soccer coach Joey Messina was not disappointed about following Monday night’s 2-1 loss to West Shore in the Class 3A, District 10 playoffs at Melbourne Central Catholic, it was the effort he got from his team.
“I can’t really complain about anything,” Messina said. “I asked them to work really hard and they did. That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
While third-seeded West Shore will move on to play No. 1 Melbourne Central Catholic – a 1-0 winner over Edgewood – for the district championship on Friday, the Tigers (8-4-2) will wait to see if their MaxPreps ranking (No. 74) will be good enough to get them a wild card spot in the regional playoffs.
“The rules say we could potentially go through because of our ranking, but I’m not sure,” Messina said.
If Holy Trinity doesn’t go on, Monday will have marked the final game for seniors Amelia Anello, Kailey Dunne, Julia McCarthy and Payton Yates.
“I’m more mad than I am sad about this possibly being my last game because we did fight really hard,” McCarthy said. “We fought really hard all season and we worked really hard to get here.
“To lose to a team that we’re pretty equal (with), if not played harder than … it’s just a little hard. It makes it kind of upsetting. I think we worked really hard.”
The Wildcats (13-2-3) took a 1-0 lead when a free kick from 20 yards out hit off the crossbar and then was headed into the goal.
Holy Trinity would tie score with just under five minutes remaining in the first half when Dunne would take the ball from a defender, come in from the left side and fire the ball past the keeper.
It was just the 13th goal West Shore had given up all season.
The score was tied at halftime, but it quickly became 2-1 West Shore just 45 seconds into the second half when a communication error led to a goal by the Wildcats.
As much as the Tigers tried to get the game even again, they could not break through.
“I think we had opportunities,” Dunne said. “We just couldn’t capitalize on them.”
It didn’t help that the team was already missing starters Emerson Euziere and Erin Sherden and then lost key players Julia McNatt and Averie Schweitzer to injury.
That forced the Tigers to rely on younger players, like Ava Knight and Catherine McCarthy, who were brought up from the JV team late in the season.
“I’m really happy about the younger kids and how they stepped up,” Messina said. “And the older ones, too.
“It was a good night, honestly. We were unlucky to miss a few chances.”
While the Tigers, who were ranked No. 11 in Class 3A prior to Monday night, await their fate, the seniors were left to ponder whether or not they had just played their final game for Holy Trinity.
“It’s been amazing,” McCarthy said. “I couldn’t ask for a better team, better coaches and a better school to play for.”
Dunne quickly agreed.