Sunday, October 31, 1999

La Salle beats McNick for soccer title


Thompson, Obert both score

BY JOHN SCHUTTE
Enquirer contributor

        After winning the city championship for the second consecutive season, expectations were high for the LaSalle boys soccer team.

        With memories still fresh in the minds of the coach and players of last year's early tournament exit, the Lancers downed McNicholas 2-0 to capture the school's first-ever district championship at Mason High on Saturday.

        LaSalle, winner of eight consecutive games, advances to meet Lakota East 7 p.m. Tuesday at Winton Woods in the first round of the Division I regionals.

        “We won the league and city title last year but lost in the second round of the tournament,” LaSalle coach Pat Albrinck said. “This year mental toughness has been stressed. The team has really improved in that aspect.”

        LaSalle set the tone early when senior Nick Thompson scored a goal 5:11 into the game. Thompson intercepted a clearing pass and faked out both a defender and the goalkeeper for his 12th goal.

        “I took the ball on the 18 and we had a 2-on-1 situation. Matt Vale spread out to give me the option to pass or shoot,” Thompson said. “I was able to beat the defender and their charging goalkeeper.”

        Following the goal, LaSalle continued to apply pressure and refused to back down to a physical McNicholas team. Eight yellow cards were issued in the game and one player was ejected.

        “That was definitely the most physical game we have played all season,” Albrinck said. “We beat them 4-3 a couple of weeks ago and the style was completely different. The higher the stakes the more physical the game will be.”

        The Lancers consistently beat McNicholas to the ball and neutralized their potent front-line attack.

        Senior Nala Voeun was instrumental for the LaSalle defense and senior keeper Phillip Stockburger was flawless in goal to post his sixth shutout in eight games.

        The Lancers increased their lead to 2-0 less than five minutes into the second half. Mike Obert picked up a loose ball in front of the net and fired past McNick's Jared Manker.

        “That goal was a huge surprise,” Albrinck said. “We expected McNicholas to put the pressure on but we were able to maintain control. That goal allowed us to settle down and get comfortable on defense.”

        The Lancers limited McNicholas to five second-half shots.

        “This victory is great but we aren't done yet,” Thompson said. “The state championship is the goal and we think we're ready.”

       



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