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PREP BOYS and GIRLS SOCCER

Lincoln holds off Foothill for hard-fought 3-2 victory

Zebras tighten hold on No. 1 spot
By: Jim Linsdau of The News Messenger
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PIONEER VALLEY LEAGUE*

Boys Soccer Standings Feb. 5

Lincoln (6-0-0, 12-1-2) win over Foothill 3-2

Foothill (4-2-0, 6-4-1) loss to Lincoln 3-2

Placer (4-2-0, 6-6-1) win over Colfax 2-0 (Feb. 3)

Center (2-3-0, 3-9-0) win over Colfax 3-0

Colfax (0-4-0, 4-9-1) loss to Center 3-0

Bear River (0-5-0, 2-8-0) loss to Placer 5-0

*PVL receives three automatic playoff bids

 

Fighting Zebras Schedule

Feb. 6 – at Placer 6 p.m.

Feb. 8 – Colfax at LHS 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 13 – Bear River at LHS 6:15 p.m.

 

Girls Soccer Standings Feb. 5

Colfax (3-0-2, 11-0-3) tie with Placer 0-0

Bear River (2-0-3, 5-1-5) tie with Placer 0-0 (Feb. 1)

Placer (2-0-4, 2-4-5) tie with Colfax 0-0

Lincoln (3-3-0, 6-6-0) win over Foothill 6-0

Center (1-2-3, 6-3-4) loss to Colfax 4-0 (Feb. 1)

Foothill (0-6-0, 3-8-0) loss to Lincoln 6-0

*PVL receives three automatic playoff bids

 

Fighting Zebras Schedule

Feb. 6 – Placer at LHS 6 p.m.

Feb. 8 – at Colfax 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 13 – at Bear River 6:15 p.m.

 

In a typical titanic battle with No. 2 Foothill, the Lincoln High boys soccer team took a 3-1 first-half lead and held onto it for a 3-2 victory on the Mustangs’ home turf Wednesday.

A loss would have dropped the Fighting Zebras (6-0) into a tie with their hosts for the top spot in the Pioneer Valley League Standings. Although things got a little rough in the late going, Lincoln stayed strong for the win and a two-game lead over the Mustangs (4-2) and Placer (4-2).

The Zebras were scheduled to visit the Hillmen Monday.

“It’s difficult because it’s always been a rivalry against them. Every time we come here, regardless of how strong either team is, it’s always a fight,” said Lincoln head coach George Bonilla. “It’s always a fight to the end and sometimes at the end of the game.”

Against Foothill, Lincoln got off to an early start when James Weston blew a 30-yard kick past the Mustangs’ goalkeeper for a 1-0 score 11 and a half minutes into the match. However, when the clock struck 13:40 of the first half, Foothill tied the contest at 1-1.

But a determined band of Zebras quickly put the Mustangs back on the ropes with a 15-yard goal from Weston. The senior’s goal was set up by a great cross-pass from teammate Adrian Hoyos.

Lincoln again charged into Foothill territory and battled for a 3-1 lead on a shot off the head of Julian Diaz five minutes before the break.

“We started putting a lot of pressure on them and they started breaking down under pressure, so it was successful for us,” Bonilla said. “Second half, we got a little bit more complacent and we started letting them play and that’s how they were able to come back.”

The Mustangs also got a break when Lincoln was penalized a player on a controversial call. But Bonilla offset that advantage using a flex strategy.

The coach said he dropped his team into a defensive posture to pull Foothill out of their defense. Once the Zebras were able to regain control of the ball they retaliated with an all-out counterattack. The strategy may not have produced a goal, but it helped to keep the Mustangs off balance.

“I just want to say, our seniors today, everybody worked hard with the adversity of the game changed a lot of the way we attacked,” said Bonilla, “but our team kept it together and they did the best they could to make it work.”

And indeed it did work.

Although the battle for the PVL title is not over, the 12-1-2 Zebras are in now in the driver’s seat. A championship banner would be nice, but Bonilla and his boys are eyeing making a serious run in the playoffs.

Depending on the division Lincoln is placed, the club is ranked No. 12 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and could draw a good seeding.

GIRLS

The SJS picked a bad time to move high school soccer to the winter season as the weather has caused cancellations and postponements of matches. The playoffs are scheduled to begin Feb. 22.

After a disappointing 3-0 loss to Colfax Jan. 27, head coach David Zinzun said his club has not been consistent for a full 80 minutes.

“These girls need to start communicating with each other a lot more and start trusting in each other,” Zinzun said. “I told them it’s going to be a rough season, but if they’re willing to put in the work we can at least compete.”

It appears Coach Zinzun was able to get his message across, as the Zebras regrouped for a 2-0 victory over Center Monday and then took out Foothill 6-0 Wednesday.