Boys soccer upsets McMinnville, advances to state championship

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Boys soccer upsets McMinnville, advances to state championship

Senior Michael Jacobs drives towards goal.

Senior Michael Jacobs drives towards goal.

Photo taken by The Oregonian

Senior Michael Jacobs drives towards goal.

Photo taken by The Oregonian

Photo taken by The Oregonian

Senior Michael Jacobs drives towards goal.

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Varsity boys soccer (16-2-1) beat No. 1-ranked McMinnville (15-2-1) 2-1 on earn a spot in the OSAA 6A state championship.

The cards were a long shot to win the game as fourth in the state, but the team proved its dominance from the get-go. The first shot was fired when Lincoln took the early 1-0 lead thanks to a tap-in by senior forward Dylan Temple. Later in the game, junior left wing Carson Graham scored to double the team’s lead and keep McMinnville’s chances at victory low. McMinville did get one goal back, but did not get the equalizer.

“I think we went into the game fairly evenly matched,” said senior Cameron Bennett. “We both are great teams and that game could have gone either way. I think we just came out more ready to compete from the get-go.”

The No. 4 cardinals are now expected to win the state championship given the team’s form and the competition it will face. The team did not win the PIL after losing to Grant 2-1 and dropping from second in state to fourth, one spot behind the generals going into the state playoffs. But since that game, Lincoln has held on, beating Aloha, South Medford, Barlow, and McMinnville each by one goal.

The team trained hard to beat the undefeated McMinnville side, working on several set pieces, such as corners and free kicks, and on fitness in preparation for the semifinals.

“Working on set pieces at practice helped us in the game when the plays we practiced unfolded,” senior Ari Gertzen said. “Fitness training also helped us power through the game as well.”

After the win, all eyes will be on Lincoln on Nov. 14 for the state championship game at Hillsboro stadium at 6 p.m. The team will face No. 14 West Salem, who beat fifteenth-ranked Central Catholic 2-1 in overtime. Although West Salem did not enter the tournament as a high seed, the cardinals will still be playing their hardest at state.

“It’s the playoffs, so every game is a new one,” Bennett said. “We are gonna come out and compete and so will they. Rankings mean nothing at this point.”