For The Tribune

The Greenwood Christian Academy boys soccer team outscored Trinity Lutheran 4-0 in the second half to take home a 7-3 win Thursday night.

Trinity scored the first goal when Andrew Emily scored on a free kick from 40 yards out at the 31:46 mark.

Greenwood scored three times between 28:23 and 17:14 to go up 3-1.

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Trinity battled back and scored on a goal by AJ Goecker off an assist by Kohei Nagino at 15:22 then tied the match when Kohei scored on an assist by Noah Criswell with 2:01 on the clock.

Cougars coach Brandan Tabeling said he was pleased with Trinity’s effort throughout the first half.

“The first half we just fought the whole time,” he said. “The guys did a good job in the first half staying defensive and when we got the ball pushing forward. Andrew and Kohei are both defensive players for us that we have repeatedly told, ‘You’re going to be important in our offense.’ Even as defensive players they had the strongest foot on the field, and both of them scored goals.

“Andrew’s was a 40-yard free kick, and Kohei’s was a trap and 40-yard bomb that just caught the goalie off the line. The hustle we expect from these guys was top notch the first half and kind of the exact opposite the second half.”

Tabeling said Greenwood Christian’s depth made a difference in the second half.

“We only have 13 players on the roster,” he said. “One of them, unfortunately, is unavailable right now with concussion-like symptoms. He is day-by-day. We knew from the beginning we were going to be short on players.”

Players from both teams suffered leg cramps throughout the match.

Trinity played the final 14 minutes with nine players and goalie Jacob Keith on the field.

“Greenwood Christian always has a huge squad (20 varsity players) that they were going to be running on us,” Tabeling said. “Through practice we could tell that our conditioning was a little sub-par.

“This year we really tried to change our preseason workouts and practices to focus more on actual ball skill drills, passing, dribbling, short sided scrimmages and focused more on actually playing the game than spending a lot of time trying to get these guys in shape and conditioning.

Trinity will host Rising Sun at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“The group of guys we have are phenomenal for being short-handed,” Tabeling said. “They’re still giving it 100 percent. For the first game of the season, to score three goals in the game, let alone three goals in the first half, was absolutely phenomenal.”

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.