Tigers’ memorable postseason run comes to an end
Holy Trinity's Eddie Marr (in blue), shown here during the Tigers' regional quarterfinal game against St. Andrew's, had the game-tying goal Saturday night in the regional semifinals. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they would lose in overtime on the road against American Heritage-Delray Beach.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
It was a memorable season for the Holy Trinity boys soccer team.
But unfortunately for the Tigers, their incredible postseason run come to an end Saturday night.
Locked in a close, physical game on the road against second-seeded American Heritage-Delray Beach, the Tigers scored with eight minutes left in regulation to force the game into overtime.
But in those two extra periods, American Heritage was able to score two goals and came away with a 3-1 victory in the Class 3A regional semifinal.
It was the final game for Holy Trinity seniors Eddie Marr; Ryan Mozer; Jackson Mariani; Lucas Dutra; Brooks Taylor; Mark Nifakos and Xzavier Robertson.
Holy Trinity finished the season with a 10-5-4 record and a district championship trophy in their first year of playing in Class 3A to add to their list of accomplishments.
Trailing 1-0 after American Heritage (14-1-2) scored off a corner kick in the first five minutes, the third-seeded Tigers came out fired up in the second half after first-year coach Adrian Moreno urged them to play their hearts out in the final 40 minutes.
With eight minutes remaining, Mozer was fouled in the box and Marr converted on the penalty kick to tie the score at 1-1.
The game went to two 10-minute overtime periods. Heritage scored five minutes into the first OT period, then took advantage when Holy Trinity had to push its numbers forward to score again with about a minute left.
“The backline had a tremendous game tonight,” Tigers coach Adrian Moreno wrote in an email.
“Lucas Dutra and Ty Schrumpf were solid dealing with their big striker. Ryan Mozer and Brooks held their own on the wings and played fantastic tonight. Ed Marr did everything he could to win the midfield battle. Jackson was a presence up top for us again, winning tackles and pressuring the ball.
“In the end, the ball just didn’t roll our way tonight. Few bounces here or there and things may have been different.”
Most people outside of the Holy Trinity program had the Tigers picked to finish third in Class 3A, District 10 this season behind West Shore and Edgewood.
But after beating West Shore in an epic overtime shootout in the district semifinals, the Tigers took out Edgewood in the championship game to claim the district title.
Holy Trinity then defeated St. Andrew’s in the regional quarterfinals and were riding a five-game winning streak into their game against American Heritage-Delray Beach with a chance to get to the regional final on the line.
“The boys were upset,” Moreno wrote. “Having come so far this season and work so hard, to have it end like that, I couldn’t be proud of these boys. They worked so hard all season. Came together when the season looked lost after Senior Night and turned everyone in the believers.
“To end the season with a district title and set a new record by getting to the regional semifinal for the first time in 3A was something no one expected ... but us.
“I knew the moment we got together for the first practice, that this team was going to do something. You could just see it in how hard they worked and played against each other. This season (being my first season) will be something I’ll never forget.
“I’m so proud of the boys and everything they achieved. They set a new standard for Holy Trinity soccer. The seniors set the bar now for the next group to reach and break. A well-deserved rest for these boys is in store. We start planning for next season tomorrow."