GREENCASTLE — Tri-West will play for its first-ever boys’ soccer semi-state appearance after the Bruins rolled to a 5-0 victory over Covington Thursday night.
Tri-West, which will play Speedway at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Greencastle Class 1A regional final, exploded for three goals in a seven-minute stretch in the first half and never looked back.
“We came out, played our game and possessed well,” Tri-West coach Jeff Denny said. “We played team ball, where everyone is as important as the next guy.”
Five different Bruins scored, as Covington failed to force the action on either end of the pitch.
“Their ball touches and trapping were phenomenal, and something we really haven’t seen this year,” Covington coach Ryan Sowers said. “When you can pass to a target and hit another teammate in quick succession, you’re gonna throw teams off completely, especially if you do it the whole game like they did. We rarely had possession.”
Tri-West’s first-half domination couldn’t have been much more thorough. Over the first 25 minutes, the Bruins had three shots on goal and five corner kicks, while Covington had none of either.
Tri-West (14-6) broke through with 14:27 left in the opening half on a quick roller by Logan Stroup that found the left corner of the net.
That opened the floodgates. Twelve minutes before halftime, Trevor Waite headed in a corner kick by Kyle Kirby, and four minutes later, Joey Pfeifer followed with a long goal from outside the box for a 3-0 halftime lead.
“We played the ball well in the middle, and got it out wide and capitalized on some of the crosses,” Denny said. “We showed good footwork as a team and were hard to defend.”
Nick Carlson and Jaret Degoyler scored second-half goals for Tri-West, which gave up only one shot on goal by Covington (10-5-2) all night.
Thursday’s game marked the farthest a Tri-West boys’ soccer team had advanced in the state tournament. The Bruins want to take one more giant step forward on Saturday.
“This is definitely a big moment for us, the school and as a community,” Stroup said. “We’re hoping to make history once again.”