Welcome to Episode 29 of the Prep Extra Podcast presented by The Lincoln Journal Star.
The leading scorer on Lincoln Lutheran / Raymond Central’s girls soccer team didn’t have a chance to find the back of the net through the first 80 minutes Saturday.
When the ball finally bounced to Sierra Springman, she promptly delivered.
Springman’s goal in overtime punched the No. 5 Warriors’ ticket to state with a 2-1 win over Elkhorn in the B-7 district final at Lincoln Lutheran High School.
“I knew it had to go in,” she said. “I did not want that game in a shootout.”
It was the first time Lincoln Lutheran / RC had played an overtime match this season, and coach Dave Gosselin said that his group rose to the occasion.
“There was a lot of pressure, but they just went out and played,” he said. “Once they figured out their organization, we started to play the way we needed to. They knew the plan. I don’t think the nerves creeped up until the last few minutes when we were just trying to save the game. ”
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Elkhorn’s Maddy Flynn poked in a cross 15 minutes into the game to give the Antlers the early lead. But the message from Gosselin to his squad was still a simple one.
“You are playing well, this time of season is really about heart and digging deep,” he said. “Keep playing and doing what you need to do. And they all played their roles today and did what they needed to do. ”
The players stepped up, with Shanae Bergt scoring at the start of the second half. Sophie Wohlgemuth made key saves in net, too.
“I knew we were up to the challenge, and that we had the gas tank and mentality in the last 20 minutes,” Springman said. “We just knew that we had worked hard and kept fighting.”
It’s the fifth time the Warriors have made it to the state tournament, including last season. It’s a team with a ton of experience, having just three underclassmen on the roster.
“This is just a great group of young women,” Gosselin said. “It’s a junior- and senior-dominated team. They knew what it was like last year, and they were not letting that get away from them. ”
Lincoln Lutheran / RC made a statement last season when it was at Morrison Stadium, knocking off perennial power Columbus Scotus in the first round. But there are no set expectations this time around in Omaha.
“We will just have to see how it goes,” Gosselin said. “No predictions. We will go up there and give it our best shot and take it from there. ”
The Warriors will play a familiar foe, No. 1 Norris, in the first round Wednesday at 5:30 pm