The rest of 3A won’t want to hear this, but this year’s The Classical Academy boys’ soccer team may even be better than the 2011 squad that played for a state title.
Evan Young had a hat trick, and Peter Tonsits and Robby Jacobs a goal and an assist apiece to lead the Titans to a 5-1 win over Vanguard on Saturday night. TCA (10-1) exploded for four goals in the second half to break a 1-1 halftime tie against the scrappy Coursers (4-4).
Jacobs, a touted freshman, scored the game-winner just 3:11 into the second half on a screaming shot from the 20-yard line, then assisted Young on his second goal four minutes later to get TCA’s offense going. Young completed his hat trick by taking a Tonsits pass and scoring with 22:04 remaining. Tonsits made it a four-goal advantage just 33 seconds later on an unassisted strike of his own.
“We’re a dangerous team,” said Young, who will play soccer for Indiana Wesleyan next year. “They packed it in and played tough defense, and it was hard for us to find some holes (in the first half), but we just started hitting shots from long (distances) and were on tonight with our shots. At some point, they’ve got to go in.”
Vanguard took a 1-0 lead 6:25 into the first half on a penalty kick by Tyler Williams, but Young tied the game with a penalty-kick goal of his own with 16:58 remaining in the half. TCA easily could have held a two- or three-goal halftime lead, but the Titans had near-misses that hit the crossbar or sailed just wide of the net during a spirited and physical 40 minutes.
Persistence, however, paid off for TCA in the second half.
“I figured that, if we continued pressuring them the way we were, we were going to break through at some point,” TCA coach Blake Galvin said. “I’ve got to give it to Vanguard, because they came out and played an incredibly tough game. I’m really proud of the way our guys responded, especially in the second half.”
Galvin is pleased with his team’s progress thus far in 2012 and admits the Titans might be even more potent on offense than a year ago.
“Actually, I think we are more dynamic,” said Galvin, whose squad has outscored opponents 47-7. “We have a greater variety with our scoring threats and have a lot more scoring potential. I feel very good about where the team is right now.”
Vanguard got a scare with 16:34 remaining in the game when starting goalie Larry Gill injured his left shoulder after colliding with TCA’s Christian Austin. Gill remained on the ground for several minutes before being helped to the sidelines. Coursers coach Joshua Starnes said Gill did not suffer a shoulder separation.
Despite the loss, Starnes was happy with his team’s effort against the 3A power.
“I’m proud because they were able to keep their heart in the game,” Starnes said. “Coming into a game like this, when you know you’re playing a great team, it’s easy to come in and a goal gets put in and you let off. Playing a great team like this is always an opportunity to build, and you get to learn from them.”