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TRINITY — Eric Kruck saw the first one coming. He didn’t have time to avoid the second.
Fivay gave its second-year coach two separate Powerade showers to celebrate a 2-0 win over rival Gulf on Friday night that gave the Falcons the Class 3A, District 8 title. Fivay (14-8-5) hosts Land O’Lakes in Tuesday’s region quarterfinal, while Gulf (8-9-1) travels to Sunlake after the Seahawks’ 3-2 win over the Gators for the 3A-7 crown.
“They really came together,” Kruck said. “Overall that was our best game of the season.”
Fivay came out firing in match that was competitive but not chippy — unlike their last meeting, which resulted in a game-ending fight and five suspensions. Gulf was called for a handball in the box after a deflection in the 17th minute. Senior Raymond Vivino rocketed the penalty kick past Gulf goalkeeper Kevin Thompson to give Fivay a 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Greg Alves made it 2-0 five minutes later. He danced right past Thompson on a breakaway and fired a shot into the left corner for his 17th goal of the year.
“I put it right where I wanted it,” Alves said.
That was more than enough for the Falcons’ defense, which was without goalkeeper Brandon Taylor, who’s still recovering from injuries suffered in the last duel with the Buccaneers.
Backup goalkeeper Tyler Phillips didn’t need to make a save in the first half as defenders Will Dermody and Ryan Oras kept Gulf’s crosses from finding their targets.
“Our defense stepped up today,” Kruck said.
The defense has been improving over the past two years. Fivay returned its entire roster from last season’s inaugural team. This year’s Falcons are more experienced, and two full seasons together paved the way for better team defense and stronger chemistry that’s beginning to show.
“Everything seemed to click tonight,” Kruck said.
Including the Powerade bath — eventually.
Kruck fought off the first one, escaping with only soggy Adidas cleats. As his team prepared to accept their first district championship trophy, a Falcon sneaked up behind him, soaking his coach. Kruck said the shower was chilly at first.
“A little bit,” Kruck said. “I’m warming up though.”