Missing the back of the net on all 16 of their first-half shots, the Trinity Lutheran boys soccer team needed a goal to pump some energy into its squad in the final 40 minutes.
Cougars sophomore Kohei Nagino gave the team that lift Tuesday.
Nagino rose above Austin’s keeper and hit a cross by junior Andrew Emily off his temple with 15 minutes left in the game to even the score at 1-1 before the Cougars came away with a 3-1 victory.
Neither team scored in the first half.
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Austin opened the scoring when freshman Jonathon Henderson toed a rebound in with 18:30 left in the first half.
“It was 60 minutes of terrible soccer, and the guys know that,” Cougars coach Brandan Tabeling said. “We didn’t have much of a halftime speech because they knew what we were going to say. Once the other team scored, we felt like it was unacceptable. Kohei gave us a boost of energy by winning that ball in the air, and it was exactly what we needed.”
With 9:21 on the clock, senior Skyler Stahl finished a cross by sophomore AJ Goecker from six yards in the center of box to put Trinity up 2-1.
Junior Sam Hayes scored the insurance goal by heading in a ball off a corner kick by Andrew Emily at the 5:52 mark.
“(Emily) was a huge part of our offense last year even though he’s a left back,” Tabeling said. “Between his free kick ability and shooting, he’s a left back who will probably be involved in a lot of our goals. We’ve scored six goals on the year, and he has either had an assist or score on four of them. He has really come a long way from his freshman year.”
For the last 20 minutes, the Cougars had 10 players on the field due to injury.
“Any time we have injury, it really puts us in a bind,” Tabeling said. “We have one guy with a concussion already, and it was the second time we had to play a man down. It was unfortunate, but it was nice to see the guys get fired up and say, ‘We’re not going to lose this game.'”
In goal, sophomore Jacob Keith recorded two saves in the first half while junior Jacob Crockett had four to close.
Trinity outshot Austin 29-11 in the contest.
The victory marked the Cougars’ first win of the season.
“Our first two games, against Rising Sun and Christian Greenwood Academy, are two tough games to start on every year,” Tabeling said. “The last four years we’ve started 0-2 or 0-1-1. It’s a huge win, and hopefully it can now get us rolling into the middle of the season.”
Trinity Lutheran will host Oldenburg Academy on Monday.