Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Trinity Shocks Wyomissing in District Soccer Championship

Lightning does not often strike the same place twice in short order, but it surely did at Cumberland Valley’s Eagle View Stadium in the girls’ Class 2A District 3 soccer championship between Trinity and Wyomissing on November 4 – a rematch from last year’s final in which Wyomissing handily beat Trinity. This year’s tilt featured a perfect day weatherwise for these two great soccer teams to do battle once again on the pitch.

Trinity opened the scoring 11 minutes in, when ’Rocks’ speedy freshman midfielder Bella Dupes sped up the left side and got behind the Spartans defense to lift a perfectly placed shot off the crossbar then the right upright to take a 1-0 lead over a stunned Wyomissing team. It’s a team that fields size, speed and plenty of playoff match experience. There was no Spartans’ panic after Trinity struck, and for the rest of the first half, the ball was in Trinity’s end of the field. After giving up several corners in a row, the Spartans’ size finally headed home a goal to knot the score at 1-1 heading into halftime.

Both teams settled into a defensive struggle in the second 40 minutes, content on waiting for the other to make a mistake. And again, the Spartans controlled the pitch and had several opportunities to take the lead. But Trinity’s back-end quickness closed on the ball whenever the Spartans were able to generate a scoring chance. Tied at the end of regulation, 1-1, the game had that suspicious feeling like it was headed to tension-packed penalty kicks to decide it. But then, just a minute into overtime, Bella Dupes took a great ball from teammate and senior Caroline Cunningham to break free where lightning had struck 70 minutes earlier and buried another nifty ball top-shelf to win it for Trinity. Wyomissing’s defenders again played the ball instead of the pass and paid the dear price.

That Trinity only had two decent scoring looks the entire game is no stretch. In soccer it is rarely about quantity and often about quality, and the ’Rocks’ two scores were balls put perfectly into the back of the net. The Spartans were undefeated before Trinity’s heroic effort, and they stood in utter disbelief as the jubilant ’Rocks piled on top of Dupes, where she sent two bolts of lightning to capture Trinity’s seventh District soccer title. It was Coach Terry Mull’s 351st career win and this District 3 gold sets her team up seeding wise to chase its fourth PIAA state championship in the past decade.

“This is just wonderful,” Coach Mull said, with tears bubbling up in her eyes after lassoing gold medals around the necks of her triumphant, ecstatic team. “It never gets old, it just doesn’t. These girls, we worked so hard to get back here. Wyomissing is a great team and very well coached. Very much so. We played a wonderful game.”

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness

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