No. 1 Trinity soccer beats No. 5 South Oldham 1-0

No. 1 Trinity soccer beats No. 5 South Oldham 1-0

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No. 1 Trinity soccer beats No. 5 South Oldham 1-0

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Trinity goalkeeper Eric Goranflo takes the same approach every time he steps on the soccer field. When the opponent’s attackers approach the goal, he tries to make himself look bigger than he is.

That mind-set paid off last night as the senior came up with three huge saves in the second half to help the host Shamrocks, the state’s top-ranked team in the MaherRankings.com index, preserve a 1-0 victory over No. 5 South Oldham.

“It’s a huge win,” Goranflo said. “It really helps us know how good we are.”

His first big test came 17 minutes into the second half when the Dragons’ Christian Lister headed a long free kick toward the top of the goal. The Trinity keeper was able to get a hand on the ball and push it over the bar.

Nine minutes later, Lister got another shot on goal, this time toward the left post. Goranflo again got his hands on it to deflect it, but the ball went straight to South Oldham midfielder Cooper Cantrell standing in front of an open goal. However, the ball came off Goranflo’s hands with such velocity that Cantrell couldn’t get on top of it enough to keep it from sailing over the crossbar.

Cantrell got another chance six minutes later when he broke free from the Trinity defenders, but Goranflo made a diving catch to keep the low shot from tying it.

“Their goalkeeper played amazing,” South Oldham coach Kenny Burke said. “That’s the best team we’ve seen so far.”

Trinity (6-2) took advantage of a South Oldham mistake near the midway point of the first half to score the game’s only goal. Defender Davis Higdon misplayed the ball near the Dragons’ box. Derek Nafziger beat Higdon back to the ball and was all alone to beat keeper Griffin Smith from the right side with 20:21 remaining.

The teams had played evenly up until then, trading possessions and opportunities. But after the Rocks seized the momentum with their goal, they didn’t give the Dragons many chances to score for the rest of the half.

Still, Trinity coach Dale Helfrich said he was concerned about how South Oldham (6-4-1) was able to get opportunities in the second half.

“Eric Goranflo had to come up big a couple times for us,” he said. “We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball.”

Both teams came away with positives from the matchup of powers.

“If the rankings mean anything, we at least showed that we can play with anyone,” Burke said.

Trinity extended its shutout streak against in-state competition to five games this year, outscoring those opponents 22-0.

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No. 1 Trinity soccer beats No. 5 South Oldham 1-0
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