As the two most dominant lacrosse programs in the state, Trinity (Ky.) and St. Xavier (Ky.) have a long history of rivalry in every sport, and these two do not like each other at all. That energy around the game adds fuel to fire every time these two meet. Again this year the stakes were high and the game came down to the wire as it usually does. St. Xavier was able to escape with a narrow 10-9 win on the road.
It was a defensive battle more than the scoreline shows. The two goalies were spectacular in this game, making huge stops time and time again, and giving their team energy. Trinity’s Jack McClellan and St. Xavier’s Joe Storner were two of the biggest standouts in this game for sure. It was also the defenses in front of them that gave their teams an edge as well.
St. Xavier’s defense wouldn’t allow any inside looks and Trinity had to settle mostly for goals in fast break or during unsettled situations. On Trinity’s side, their defense did have some lapses early on and they were great recovering and making up for their mistakes early in the game. They were really able to put a hurt on the Tigers in the fourth for sure.
This game got started very fast with St. Xavier being able to go up 2-0 three minutes into the game with Hillis Burns and Ben Hubbs getting the scoring started. Trinity’s offense was finally able to penetrate and get some good looks on cage midway through the first. Will Redmen netted the first two for the Rocks, tying the game at 2 with 4:01 in the first. Seconds after Trinity tied it up St. Xavier went back up 3-2 with a Justin Harden goal coming right off the faceoff.
Coming into the second quarter trailing 3-2, Trinity started off pretty quick as Gavin Noland got things tied up just a few minutes in. The rest of the second quarter saw some stellar defensive play from both sides with the ball bouncing back and forth and plenty of contact being delivered both ways. Hillis Burns and Patrick Anderson were able to finally get the Tiger offense going again as they each scored in the last few minutes of the half, making it a 5-3 St. Xavier lead heading into the half.
The third quarter started pretty similar to how we saw the majority of the second played with a lot of back-and-forth action with great defensive stops. Patrick Anderson was able to get his hands free and get St. Xavier the first goal of the second half. Hillis Burns would follow with another Tigers goal just minutes later. Trinity started to pick the energy up again after Gavin Noland scored two straight to give himself a hat-trick and cut the St. Xavier lead to 7-5. Late in the third Will Warner extended Trinity’s run to three. That run helped make it just a one-goal 7-6 St. Xavier lead at the end of the third.
About three minutes into the fourth Will Hubbs awoke the Tigers offense once again to put them up 8-6 early on. The Rocks really got fired up after Gavin Noland scored his fourth goal of the game, wrapping around his defender and stinging the back of the net. After a St. Xavier turnover the Shamrocks took it to coast to coast, finishing with an Andrew Hammill goal on the doorstep to tie things up at 8. Will Hubbs sparked the Tigers with a goal just a minute later. Trinity answered just minutes later with another Gavin Noland goal. Unfortunately for the Rocks a questionable call off put them man-down and the Tiger took full advantage. Will Hubbs found his hands free and was able to score the game-winner for the Tigers. The Rocks had a few chances to tie it late, including a shot ricashade off the pipe. The Tigers were able to hold on and secure the win.
This won’t be the last time these two see each other as it is almost certain Trinity and St. Xavier will meet in May for the KSLL State Championship game, which is being held at Trinity this year.
Trinity Scorers: Gavin Noland (5G), Will Redmen (2G), Will Warner (1G), Andrew Hammil (1G)
St. Xavier Scorers: Hillis Burns (4G), Will Hubbs (2G), Patrick Anderson (1G), Ben Hubbs (1G), Cameron Johnson (1G), Justin Harden (1G)