As far as wins during the first two weeks of the high school soccer season go, this was a really good one for the Lincoln Southeast girls.
The Class A seventh-rated Knights were great on offense in the first half, and great on defense in the second half in a 2-1 win against No. 10 Lincoln East on Tuesday at Seacrest Field in a matchup of undefeated teams.
Southeast improved to 3-0 and got its second top-10 win of the season after previously beating No. 8 Millard South.
And the Knights beat an East team that came into the match with a 4-0 record for its best start to the season in 12 years.
This was also a rivalry game, so it all meant that the Southeast players were very excited.
“It was a good matchup, and fun to play,” Southeast senior Kieran Burkey said. “I think both teams had their advantages and disadvantages. I was nervous the whole game, but that makes it fun.”
Southeast coach Jim Ageton says it was a really good win.
“East is really good,” Ageton said “They’re fast across the board. I told our kids that I think this is a state-tournament level game. East gives us tons of problems to solve. They were throwing kids forward, and they’re all fast.”
It was Burkey who scored the game winner with a great shot from about 30 yards. The goal, with about four minutes left in the first half, broke a 1-1 tie.
“(The East goalie) was looking into the sun, so I just thought I’d take a chance and hit it,” Burkey said.
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In a match between evenly matched teams, the scoring chances can be few, and Southeast took advantage with a shot when East may not have expected it.
“Chloe (Heller) and Kieran kind of have the bigger legs in the middle for us and so we just said, ‘Hey, with the wind if you got a chance to take a rip, take a rip, and let something good happen,’” Ageton said.
Southeast scored the first goal of the match in the 11th minute when senior Cassie Nash beat the goalkeeper one-on-one with a shot to the far corner of the goal.
East tied the match later in the first half with a goal by Briley Hill.
In the second half, Southeast goalkeeper Jillian Dlouhy made a couple of saves, including one from close range with 18 minutes left in the match.
Dlouhy had also made a save on an East penalty kick in the first half.
“(Dlouhy) had to make several good, clean stops, and she caught all of them, which is huge,” Ageton said “If she gives up a rebound on the PK instead of catching it they can come up and tap it in. And if she gives up a rebound on her diving catch, that’s a rebound that gets tapped home.”
Southeast had to replace seven senior starters from its state tournament team, but still has a lot of good players to work with, Ageton said.
“For us, our back line is really our strength,” Ageton said. “That’s where our experience lies, and then when you have a weapon like Cassie up top, you let Cassie go be good. Go chase something down and get an effort goal.”