Prep boys soccer: Trojans edge Loyola 1-0
WORTHINGTON — At this point, it’s all about earning yourself another opportunity to play another soccer match, and Worthington did just that Monday night.
The Trojans rode a lackluster offensive rhthym to a scoreless first half against Mankato Loyola, but had it in the tanks after the break to earn a 1-0 victory and advance along the tournament trail in Section 2A boys soccer action at Trojan Field.
“I think we just couldn’t find a rhthym in the first half,” Worthington coach Smitty Ektnitphong said after the match. “Soccer is a game of momentum, as well as rhthym, and we just couldn’t advance the ball.
“I thought we did at times, but we couldn’t go forward,” Ektnitphong added. “The ball kept coming to the side and coming to the side.”
The first half wore on and the Trojans found their chances, but just couldn’tget anything to connect. They outlasted Loyola 7-1 for shots on goal before the break, but lacked the communication and passing needed to make good on those chances.
In the second half, Worthington found its offensive fire and cracked the scoreboard 5:38 in on a header from junior Jesus Ordaz. It would prove to be all the Trojans needed for another chance to take to the pitch.
“I thought in the second half we started advancing the ball,” Ektnitphong said. “We were able to score that one goal but, I tell you, you have to give Loyola a lot of credit. They came in with nothing to lose and everything to gain. They almost won tonight.”
Worthington’s senior goalkeeper, Kody Honius, earned his team’s fourth shutout of the year, as the Trojans climbed back from a regular season-ending 3-0 loss to Mankato West.
The fourth-seeded Trojans move along with little time to celebrate, as fifth-seeded New Ulm comes into town on Thursday evening for a second-round match against Worthington. The Eagles were 3-2 victors on Monday night over Fairmont in overtime.
“We were dominating in the second half and had two or three chances,” Ektnitphong said. “The ball hit the crossbar here or there, and it was just one of those nights.”
While Worthington did what it had to do to earn the victory, the Trojans will find a full list of things to shore up as they head to the practice pitch and the hill steepens a bit. New Ulm comes in with a record identical to Worthington’s, at 10-2-1.
“We have a long way to go and a lot of work ahead of us,” Ektnitphong said Monday night. “Right now we can enjoy our win, but then we’ll get back to work for New Ulm.”
Loyola 0 0 — 0
Worthington 0 1 — 1