Lincoln fails to overcome Danville’s late surge in 45th District semifinals

LANCASTER — For the first 55 minutes, Lincoln County looked like it would threaten Danville’s hopes of a crosstown rematch with Boyle County in the 45th District championship.
Danville led a tense game 2-1 with 25 minutes left in the game, then Tyler McGirr headed home a Briar Sanders’ free kick to give the Admirals a 3-1 lead.
After that, Lincoln folded.
“We fought hard, but once they scored the third goal, we kind of dropped our heads,” Lincoln coach Lewis Cummins said. “They picked their intensity up a little bit and that allowed them to get the next two or three goals in. We had some opportunities early, and if we got one or two of those it could have been a little different.”
The soccer Patriots gave Danville everything they could handle early on, despite the Ads’ holding a lead for 75 minutes. Danville’s Hayden Block opened the scoring in the fifth minute of the game, scoring on a looping shot over Trevor Godbey.
After that, though, Lincoln settled in and set the tone. It wasn’t anything like Danville’s 8-2 win on Sept. 13 in Stanford.
“They were night and day from when we played them in September,” Danville coach Brent Beaumann said. “I think everybody was expecting that game we played in September, and that was a much improved team. Lewis has done a phenomenal job … You can definitely see that Lincoln County was not ready to be finished. They played extremely well, very improved with lots of heart and intensity. I think that also, mixed with our nerves, took us out of what we were trying to do.”
Isaiah Scott had a go from 35 yards away and found the back of the net with 11 minutes left in the second half, but Lincoln responded. Trey Cummins found a way behind the Admirals’ defense, and after his first shot was saved by Claudio Rodriguez, scored on the rebound.
At the half, Danville led 2-1.
For the first 15 minutes of the second half, Lincoln had the better chances. Jacob Baird came close multiple times but was unable to finish past Rodriguez.
Coach Cummins said his team’s goal was to be the aggressors because his team had nothing to lose.
“That was our gameplan, we executed it for about 60 minutes,” he said. “They had some shots but it wasn’t great looks. We had a couple of chances, and if we hit those chances, it puts pressure on them again.”
But Danville would score next on McGirr’s header and, one minute later, Alec McAllister scored to give the Admirals a 4-1 lead.
Ethan Redmond and Saif Siddiqui each scored in the final 15 minutes to put the game away for Danville.
Beaumann said he thought his team was playing nervous early on but settled into the game in the second half.
“It looked like we were playing nervous,” he said. “These guys, this senior class is a wonderful group and they’ve worked extremely hard but they’ve missed out on a lot of the postseason play that a lot of the other classes had before. They really want it, so they’re almost too nervous about messing up, so they’re kind of being a little too cautious. We can’t be afraid to do things, to move and we’ve got to play our way. You’ve got a lot of older guys dying to keep playing and do these things because this is it for them, and you’ve got a lot of young guys who have had a lot of nerves as well, this is their first time.”
Beaumann said his subs were critical in sparking the team’s offense.
“The thing I think that really changed the half, we had Tyler, Angel (Alaves), Matt (Schroeder), Jesus (Ayala), these are guys who came off of the bench and just had a huge spark with a lot of intensity, a lot of effort and everybody else kind of fed off of their energy and they just flipped the game,” Beaumann said. “It just takes a little spark to ignite a flame, it kind of took off.”
The Admirals’ physicality was causing Lincoln some problems, and the soccer Patriots’ bench was given a yellow card for arguing with some calls. Two Lincoln players — Austin Wethington and Gavin Poynter — were also given yellow cards during the game.
“We knew it was going to be physical, and unfortunately, we’re probably not a physical team,” coach Cummins said. “We’re kind of more of a finesse team than we are physical. But we knew they would be physical, that’s always.”
Cummins was positive in his outlook for the future of Lincoln soccer. The soccer Patriots lose just two seniors and return a talented core of players.
“It took most of the year for us to get into the formation, players where we wanted them,” coach Cummins said. “So we’re already going to know that at the start of the year next year. Just keep our heads up, we lose two seniors. We’ve got a lot coming back.”