Lincoln College defeated Parkland College 5-1 in the first round of Region 24 playoffs. This is the fourth consecutive year that Lincoln has defeated Parkland in the Region tournament.
It was a very close game the first half with both teams doing well in the midfield and both getting a couple opportunities at goal. Lincoln opened the scoring on a great combination play of nine passes that ended with Julio Velasquez crossing the ball into Adrien Sathler who side volleyed the ball, however the ball was sailing off frame when a diving Diego Rodriguez headed the ball into the goal. Lincoln would score again 10 seconds later when Diego Rodriguez stole the ball from the last Parkland defender giving him a one-on-one break away where he chipped the goalie. The rest of the half was an even game. At half time we talked about not being complacent and about pushing in their attacking third. I thought we gave the ball away a bit cheaply a few times in the first half so told the guys to do better after winning the ball. The talk must have had a big effect on the guys because they scored two goals inside the first five minutes of the second half. First goal came from a handball in the box off a shot. Jaime Hernandez took the penalty and slotted the ball past the keeper. Lincoln would follow the goal with another goal inside a minute when Cody Winter chipped a ball over the top for Adrien Sathler who one timed the ball far post and out of reach of a diving goalie. Parkland would get a goal off a nice cross and finish inside the box. Lincoln would get their 5th goal in the 88th minute when Jason Velasquez beat a defender and crossed a ball into an unmarked Jaime Hernandez for his second goal of the day.
Overall, we were very happy with the performance of the boys. We wanted to come out and press them and make things difficult in the midfield. We have stressed possession with a purpose all season long and think we are starting to see the fruits of our labor with 26 goals in the past three matches!
Lincoln takes on Illinois Central at 2pm Wednesday at ICC in the semi-finals of Region 24.