The Hannibal High School boys soccer team fell 2-0 to the St. Dominic Crusaders in the opening round of the Class 3, District 7 tournament on Tuesday in O'fallon.

The Hannibal High School boys soccer team fell 2-0 to the St. Dominic Crusaders in the opening round of the Class 3, District 7 tournament on Tuesday in O'fallon.

Twenty seconds into the second half  Tony Petruso scored the game-winning goal for the defending district champion Crusaders.

The last meeting between Hannibal and St. Dominic was in 2016. The Crusaders eliminated the Pirates from postseason play by a score of 2-1.

Hannibal Coach Eric Hill was surprised at the different style of play St. Dominic displayed.

“We had a read on how we thought they were going to come out and play against us,” said Hill. “Unfortunately it was completely different and they played really well.”

Hannibal was limited in the offensive attack. Goalkeeper Ryan Box and the St. Dominic defense shut down any Pirate scoring opportunities.

The Pirate defense was able to hold off the persistent Crusader attack in the first period of play.

“I think we played solid and kept our shape really well throughout the first half,” said senior defender Caleb Ketsenburg.

Neither team was able to score in the first 40 minutes of the match, knotting the score at 0-0 going into the intermission.

The go-ahead goal came in the first moments of the second period. Petruso got behind the Pirate defense to put St. Dominic ahead 1-0.

“I thought we defended really well tonight,” said Hill. “They caught us on our heels at the beginning of the half.”

The Crusader offense stayed on the move until the very final whistle.

Carson Corbett hammered home a goal for St. Dominic in the 76th minute.

Hannibal was outshot by the Crusaders 25-2. Senior goalkeeper John Maune finished with 16 saves.

Hannibal finished the 2018-19 campaign with a record of 15-7.

The Pirates will graduate 11 seniors, seven of whom were starters.

“The seniors are going to be missed,” said Hill. “Truly a great group of kids to coach, they were vital parts of our team over the last four years.”