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Garrett Nabozny (4) had a hat trick in Friday's regional semifinal win over Hamtramck, but his Trenton Trojans fell 2-0 in the final on Friday night, snapping a 16-game win streak. Photo by Dave Chapman
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REGIONAL SOCCER: Trenton downed by Lake Shore, win streak snapped (PHOTO)
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It was tough for the emotional Trenton players to appreciate a run of that magnitude just moments after coming up short in the regional final game, but Trojans Coach Mike Hatfield told his team that their incredible accomplishment will set in once the sting of this last loss begins to fade.
“I told them that it hurts more the farther you go,” Hatfield said. “I said ‘I’m as hurt as you are but a week from now, two weeks from now, three weeks from now it’ll set in that you did something that hasn’t happened in a very long time at our school.’ They changed a culture.”
It was a closely contested, physical contest from start to finish, and the Shorians’ home crowd provided a college basketball-type atmosphere.
Trenton applied the offensive pressure right out of the gate, reeling off five quick shots and attempting three corner kicks, none of which were converted.
The third corner kick led to a loose ball picked up by Lake Shore forward Joey Podsiadly, who sped down a nearly empty field due to the Trojans’ stacked offensive attack, and beat Trenton netminder Matt Smellie on a breakaway goal. The score came just five minutes into the contest.
Strong defense on both sides forced quite a few turnovers down the stretch in the first half. By the time the buzzer went off, Trenton was leading in shots 7-4, but was trailing 1-0 in the game.
Hatfield said he thought his team played at their pace in the first half.
“To be honest, I thought we carried that first 30, 35 minutes of the first half and the goal was a huge error on our part,” he said. “We grinded and knocked on the door a lot in the first half; our offense looked good, so I didn’t panic when we let in the goal. We got a little fatigued and they kind of controlled the last ten minutes of the half there.”
In the second half, the Shorians ramped up the offensive attack and got constant pressure on Smellie. Lake Shore registered two midfield set pieces, a corner kick and a header near the net in the first ten minutes of the second half, all of which were turned away by Smellie and Trenton’s defense.
The problem for the Trojans was on the offensive end, where they only managed one shot in the entire second half.
With 12:45 remaining, Lake Shore’s Nick Smigielski got free in front of the goal and buried a ball into the upper right side of the net from the top left side of the box.
The Shorians would keep the ball in Trenton’s zone for the better part of the final 12 minutes after the goal and would wind up closing out the game 2-0 to move on to the state semifinals.
“In the second half, I thought it was an even game,” Hatfield said. “We lost a little of the momentum we had, lost a little energy, but, they’re young kids. They start to panic a little bit. They’ve never been here. (Lake Shore) has been to the regional final three years in a row.
“So it’s different when you come here consistently; you learn what the pressure feels like. I thought we still had a good shot down the stretch because aside from their goal, they really didn’t get much on net.”
The loss ends Trenton’s season, a season which started off 2-4 in September before the Trojans won 16 straight games. The regional final loss makes the Trojans’ final record 18-5 in 2013.
Coach Hatfield said his team grew up a lot since starting off 2-4.
“They should be very proud of themselves,” Hatfield said. “I saw 16 and 17-year-old boys turn into 18-year-old men. Over a two-and-a-half month period they stayed composed, and good things happen when you do that.”
Last Updated: 10/26/2013 12:05:51 PM EST