Playing at 9 a.m. the morning after a hard-fought evening game is not the best scenario for success.
The Mariner Tritons found that out in the final pool play game Wednesday in the Nike Thanksgiving Tourhnament at Lakewood Ranch. The Tritons gave up two goals in the first 10 minutes of a 2-0 loss to Palm Harbor University School. The loss meant the Tritons would not advance to the championship finals.
"I think we were still asleep," said Tritons coach Martin Cardenas. "After those first two goals it was an even match the rest of the game. Physically, we could not get back into the game."
Tritons goalkeeper Alex Trujillo had to make just two saves after the initial goals.
"I think we could have advanced to the finals if we hadn't played like we were sleepwalking," added Cardenas. "We looked to be very fatigued."
The Tritons, who went 1-1-1 in the tournament, had to play Wednesday without leading scorer Isaiah Romano, who suffered a muscle strain injury and could not play. The Tritons (5-2-1 overall) play their next game Tuesday at home against district rival Lemon Bay.