Boys soccer controls the state


Jon Rhodes

LHS Boys Soccer huddles during an important Portland Interscholastic League (PIL) matchup.

On September 26, the two top Oregon boys soccer teams, Lincoln and Jesuit High School, played a season-defining game. Lincoln showed they were the team to beat with a 3-1 victory over Jesuit.

This season, junior Gunder Miller rejoined the team from Timbers Academy, quickly becoming an essential player. He has amassed 15 goals thus far. Despite it being his first season with this group, Miller has effectively worked himself into the team.

“This team is easily the most united group I’ve played with. We do everything together,” said Miller.

Senior Quincy Lea, a varsity player since sophomore year, expresses the team’s goal of a state title and how they are capable of accomplishing it.

“When we have our full roster healthy and ready to go; there isn’t a team in the nation that can stop us,” said Lea.

The team faced difficulty in a 0-1 loss against league rivals Ida B. Wells High School.

“We felt like we had dominated the game, but some things were out of our control that cost us,” said Lea.

The team responded strongly with a 4-0 win over Franklin.

“[…] Coming to practice the next day, [we were] ready to put our heads down and work because we all knew we had bigger goals that were still achievable,” said Lea.

Their new coach, Brandon McNeil is the glue that holds the team together. McNeil coached Lincoln girls to an undefeated season and title in 2007. He is also the head coach of United PDX, the top soccer academy in Oregon.In his career, he was a youth national team player. He values players that do work that goes unnoticed in the box score.

“I was more in the background and was fortunate to be on teams with players that were way more talented than me in certain areas and […] we definitely have those guys on the team,” said McNeil.

Playoffs begin on October 29 and the Cardinals are a top three seed going in. Lincoln’s only title in 2015 was accomplished with 12 wins and two losses through the regular season. This year, the team won 11 games and lost two.

“All of my feelings going into state are positive and enthusiastic. We have been preparing for this all season and I know that we are ready and we will come out and do our thing and control games,” said Lea.