Win over Center puts Zebras in Playoffs

JV soccer ends season 16-1
By: Jim Linsdau Lincoln News Messenger Sports Editor
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It was a match of two priorities; win, in order to have chance of making it into the playoffs, and play as many seniors as possible for senior night. That was the situation for Lincoln High School head soccer coach Justin Treanor and his Fighting Zebras boys soccer team, Thursday. With 15 seniors playing their last regular-season home game, Treanor managed to do both. “Senior night’s a tough one because you want to play all your seniors, and you want to win. The best lineup’s not always conducive to that,” said Treanor. The kids voted they wanted to play to win, and we’d work the seniors in.” Two seniors, Arley Ibarra and Jonahtan De La Torre scored the decisive goals in order to defeat Center High, 2-1. The win improved Lincoln’s record to 4-2-4. The Zebras its playoff-qualifying deadlock with both Colfax and Foothill, when Placer defeated the Falcons, 4-0, to knock them from contention. That means the Zebras will go into the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs as either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. “We gave up an easy goal at the end, but overall we pretty much dominated the game, which was nice for us,” said Treanor, who was at that time unaware of Colfax’s loss. I’m happy with that as long as the kids stay positive and we go forward from here, it will be nice for us.” “I loved it because we’re going to the playoffs,” said Ibarra as to his first-half goal. “I knew it was going to be a hard game. I feel good, like we’re going in confident,” Ibarra added as to the Zebras’ chances in the postseason. Ibarra’s goal came on an assist from senior Eddie Hernandez. De La Torre’s goal came on a 15-yard kick that cleared the outstretched hands of the Center goalkeeper. Should Lincoln enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the PVL, it would host the first round against the Tri-County Conference No. 3 seed. If the Zebras enter as the No. 3 seed, they would have to travel to play the TCC No. 2 seed. JV _ The Lincoln High junior varsity boys soccer team put the cap on a brilliant 16-1 season with a decisive 10-0 defeat of Center. Freshman Christian Guzman virtually scored at will by finding the back of the net five times. The other goals came from Dario Ibarra, Steven Ibarra, Riley Hollbrook, Christian Campos, and Matthew Contreras; among them, only Campos is a sophomore. The Fighting Zebras JV’s only loss was a 1-0 decision to Placer, earlier in the month. Lincoln defeated the Hillmen, 1-0, Oct. 25. “I think buying into the concept of teamwork,” said JV coach George Bonilla as to why his club had such success this season. “I had a lot of individuals on the team when we started, and they bought into the concept of teamwork. Although we lost a couple of key members to the varsity, because we were so into team I think that’s why we were able to be successful.” During the post-game pep talk, Bonilla stressed to his players the importance of keeping up their grades. With nine freshman on his squad, Bonilla said he worries that his athletes will trade study time for a good time. He said it’s not unusual for kids, barely teenagers, to get caught up in the excitement of high school and wind up on academic probation when they want to be playing soccer. Great advice; fortunately, this year proved to be one where his players got the job done both on the field and off.