The St. Xavier streak of five straight lacrosse state titles came to a crashing end Friday night.
Trinity’s defense swarmed the host Tigers the entire night and left with its first lacrosse state title since 2007 with a 8-5 win before 2,200.
The Shamrocks (17-1) avenged a 15-6 loss to St. Xavier on April 10.
“It feels wonderful tonight,” said Trinity coach Pete Schroeder. “We have a lot of pride in our program. … To bring the title back at the end of the year is big. It’s been a while since we’ve done it. It was a long drought. We’ve been close, but close isn’t good enough.”
After the loss to St. X in April, Schroeder said his team improved. “The kids committed to the process of getting better,” he said. “Once they committed to the process, anything was possible.
“Tonight, we played a better 48 minutes than we did earlier (in the regular season),” Schroeder said. “We didn’t play close to our potential in the regular season, but much closer to it tonight.
“We had some defensive tweaks because I’m not just another pretty face,” the Trinity coach said. “The kids executed really well.”
The Tigers had plenty of point-blank chances at the goal, but Trinity goalie Cody Tranbarger kept turning them back.
“He’s just such a hard-working, driven kid,” Schroeder said of Tranbarger. “He was terrific tonight. He shut the door. He’s been good for three years.”
St. X coach Scott Howe also pointed to Tranbarger.
“The goalie was the difference,” Howe said. “He was making saves with his ankles, his elbows and his head. … Cody made some phenomenal saves.”
With Tranbarger’s defense, the Shamrocks spurted out to a 4-1 lead in the first half on goals by Sumner Franklin, Justin Goldner and two by Mitchell Kraus.
“You want to match the guy’s stick and get something in the way, whether it’s a leg, foot, elbow, whatever,” Tranbarger said.
Tranbarger, who carries a 4.0 GPA, was named an Academic All-American.
In the third quarter, the Trinity cushion increased to 7-2 on goals by Franklin, Kraus and Jackson Lienhart.
“The difference was the defense in front of me,” said Tranbarger, who will play for NCAA Division III Amherst (Mass.) next season. “They were fantastic. They executed our game plan perfectly. All I had to do was make saves.”
TRINITY 2 2 2 2–8
ST. XAVIER 1 0 1 3–5
Trinity: Mitchell Kraus 3, Sumner Franklin 2, Justin Goldner, Jackson Lienhart, Kevin Sims. St. Xavier: Brad Schickel 3, Zayne Smith, Collin Roppel.