Lincoln rebounds from Roseville loss

Del Campo here Friday
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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The fans who showed up for the Lincoln High boys soccer preseason match against Roseville last Thursday were treated to a rare occurrence – the Fighting Zebras lost.

However, Zebras head coach George Bonilla paid little attention to the loss as no more than a lesson learned.

“The learning experience for us is to do the little things; to do the work early and cut out those wrong things that we’re doing,” Bonilla said. “Actually, our defense played well today. We just had a couple of mistakes and that was how (Roseville) was able to capitalize.”

Lincoln 1, Whitney 1

Potentially one of the stronger Division II teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section, the Wildcats discovered that Lincoln did learn from the Roseville loss.

The Zebras held the Wildcats to one goal Tuesday, while scoring one on offense. The match was played on Lincoln’s pitch.

With Lincoln trailing 1-0 at the half, Manuel Martinez came up big in the second period to tie the match.

Also coming up big was goalkeeper Mclean Learned, who stopped 10 of Whitney’s shots on goal.

Lincoln 2, Natomas 0

Visiting the Nighthawks Wednesday night, the Zebras took their game up a notch to shut out their hosts and improve to three wins, three ties and just one loss.

Martinez and Orlando Basurto waited until the final 40 minutes to score, but it was more than enough for the win. Both got help from juniors Christian Villanueva and Julian Zinzun, who provided the assists.

Learned was kept busy as well, making 12 saves in the contest.

Roseville 2, Lincoln 0

The Tigers scored a little over 20 minutes into the contest. The Zebras tried to counter, but trailed 1-0 at the half.

Roseville scored again just two minutes into the second period. It came when Lincoln mounted an unsuccessful attack and failed to get back on defense in time to prevent a breakaway goal by the Tigers.

With the loss of a couple seniors from last year, the Zebras appeared in need of team leadership. Bonilla said he has some players who could fill that role, but they are young and still learning.

“Yesterday, we played Pittsburg and that was a very good win for us. And today, I think it had something to do with being tired, probably,” said Bonilla. “Not preparing … physically and mentally for the game. But I’m proud how we played, other than those two mistakes I think that we played well.”

Lincoln 3, Pittsburg 1

The Division I Pirates came to down Dec. 5 and were shut out 2-0 in the first 40 minutes. After intermission, the Zebras matched the visitors with a goal each in the second period.

Basurto, Josue Rodriguez and Martinez provided the scoring. Villanueva had two assists and Rodriguez the other.

Learned had five saves in the contest.