TRINITY — At first it looked like Trinity would take control. Then, it was Wheatmore. In the end, the teams settled for a tie.
The Warriors held the lead at halftime and again inside the final 10 minutes. But the Bulldogs, who led early in the opening minutes, answered in tying the match — ending in a 3-3 tie Saturday night in PAC-7 2A boys soccer at Trinity.
“I thought we played pretty well,” said Trinity coach Nathan Sink, filling in for Mike Sink as he coaches basketball. “We kept the ball on the ground and that was what we wanted to do, instead of just airing it out. But late in the first half we started playing in the air more and getting away from what we wanted to do.
“We were making dumb mistakes and a lot of those goals were mistakes on our part. I’d say the first two goals in the first half — our keeper, he’s new in the goal and he made some mistakes not holding onto the ball. And they capitalized — good for them.”
Quinton O’Hara scored all three goals — including two penalty kicks — for the Bulldogs (0-0-1, 0-0-1), while Jose Gonzalez chipped in an assist.
Collin Burgess scored two goals for Wheatmore (0-0-1, 0-0-1), while Jagur Williams scored one goal. Austin Poplin and Ryan Baynard each had one assist.
“I thought we played soft,” Warriors coach Rick Maness said. “I thought they brought the fight to us way more. They won too many 50/50 balls. We had chances to win this game.
“But we have a lot of youth on this team that played well in spots. They’re still learning. We had to keep adjusting and I thought we did that and finally got something figured out. But credit to Trinity — they’re strong and have a lot of will.”
Trinity took the lead on a centering pass and shot in the 13th minute, but the Warriors answered with a chip past the oncoming goalkeeper in the 30th minute and a finish after the Bulldogs mishandled a long free kick in the 38th minute.
Trinity converted a penalty kick off a handball in the penalty area in the 49th minute to even the match. But Wheatmore regained the lead in the 65th minute off a long throw in and finish in front and held the lead into the final 10 minutes.
But again the Bulldogs answered, drawing a foul in the penalty area and converting the kick, with 6:08 left in regulation.
“We wanted to keep the ball on the ground and that’s what created those PKs,” Sink said. “We came in on the ground, dribbled in through the 18, they fouled and that’s what we wanted. Not necessarily the foul, but we kept the ball on the ground and that’s what came from it.”
Both teams had a couple opportunities in the two 10-minute overtime periods, but they couldn’t convert and the match ended in a draw.
“We fixed the middle and they’re beginning to learn their role and what they’re doing,” Maness said of his team’s positive moments. “We’ve got to win a little bit more 50/50s and play with a little more grit. I think once we do that — we’re very young, but at least we came out with a tie.
“The youth is going to come. They’re diamonds in the rough right now. So, it’s good we finally got a game under our belts. It could’ve gone the other way — we had a couple meltdowns. Our center-back went out and he’s our director back there, which hurt. But they played hard.”
Logan May made nine saves in goal for Trinity, which edged Wheatmore in shots 20-17. Nick Galloway made seven saves for the Warriors.