It was just a year ago.
The Truman boys soccer team nearly pulled off a monumental upset when it gave perennial powerhouse Rockhurst all it could handle and then some in the Class 4 District 13 championship game.
The Hawklets ended up getting a goal in the final seconds to escape with a 4-3 win in 2016. Once again, this season, Truman meet Rockhurst in the district finals. Could the Patriots re-create the magic they had last season?
Not this time.
The Hawklets dominated Truman from start to finish and won a district championship game against the Patriots for the third straight year following a 6-0 victory Thursday at Rockhurst’s Dasta Stadium.
Rockhurst was just too fast, too strong and too technically sound to allow Truman much in the way of offense. The Hawklets controlled possession throughout and outshot the opposition 23-3.
Truman head coach Manny Tovar pointed out that Rockhurst had a perfect game plan and it neutralized most chances the Patriots had of creating a chance to score.
“We definitely didn’t play our best,” Tovar said. “We had a hard time getting the ball in the middle. They changed their formation based on what they saw in one of our games. That was great coaching by (Rockhurst head coach Chris) Lawson. Defensively, they are just all over you.
“We don’t have a lot of depth. So we can’t sub people in, so we get tired.”
Within the first minute, Truman got the ball deep in the Hawklets’ penalty box, but no one was able to finish Raul Romero’s cross in front of the goalmouth. Any time the Patriots tried to make a counterattack or appeared to have numbers on a breakaway, the speedy Hawklets got back on defense quickly and thwarted any chances.
Truman’s only shot in the first half was off the foot of junior Korby Ring, but it went wide right. In the second half, Truman’s other attempts were also wide as it never put a shot on goal.
“We had to change our formations and some of our guys had to play positions they weren’t used to playing,” said Truman senior defender Isaac Ruiz, whose team was missing midfielder Jose Calderon to a concussion. “I had to switch to defensive mid and it didn’t work out.”
Kyle Roark opened up the scoring for Rockhurst in the third minute. Truman goalkeeper Josh Cruz made a diving stop on his initial shot, but Roark was able to put in the rebound.
The Hawklets also got a hat trick from George Marty and a pair of goals from Jacob Amey to pull away.
The Patriots ended their season at 15-8 and will lose nine seniors to graduation.
“I came to the United States from Mexico when I was a freshman,” Ruiz said. “I’ve been here for four years and these guys are my brothers. I will miss playing with these guys.”
Added Tovar: “It will be hard to replace those seniors. They stepped up as returning starters this year. We have a good group of juniors coming up next year.”