OMAHA – The Minutemen battled a dogfight in their first game at the Nebraska State Soccer Championships on Thursday when they met Omaha Roncalli Catholic at Morrison Stadium in Omaha. The Minutemen took some time to recover from their awe and intimidation of the massive stadium, and made the show a bit of a nail biter for Lexington fans.
But all of that changed.
Roncalli Catholic drew first blood in the game with James Borer catching a cross shot with a knee and taking the Lexington keeper, Eduardo Gomez, by surprise. Borer’s goal was rung up at the 13 minute mark and put the Crimson Pride up, 0-1, over the Minutemen.
The boys in orange and black continued their assault after giving up a goal to Roncalli. As with many of their games this season, they maintained possession of the ball much longer than their opponent, and were far more aggressive on the goal.
Despite their persistence, the Minutemen could not lock a shot on the goal and many of their attempts went wide-left of the goal. Ownership of the ball and the pitch still left the Minutemen empty handed for the remainder of the first half and most of the second.
After an hour of playing from behind the Crimson Pride the Minutemen locked-on. With just seven minutes left in the game, Jesus Jimenez, assisted by Fredy Vargas, tapped a ball between the legs of Roncalli keeper Jacob Clark.
With an explosion of orange movement in the stands, the announcer’s declaration of a Lexington goal couldn’t be heard over the Minutemen fan section. The only indication of a goal was the scoreboard brightly declaring a tie game, 1-1.
After the Minutemen suffered a scoring drought at the state tournament, since 2015 with their single goal against Scotus, Lexington let slip a deluge of goals on the Crimson Pride in the overtime periods.
Jimenez, assisted by Junior Casillas, scored a second goal for the Minutemen in the sixth minute of the first half of overtime, rocking the Roncalli boys on their heels. Marvin Orozco blasted a shot past Clark in the opening minute of the second overtime half from about 35 yards out from the goal, giving the Lexington boys a comfortable 3-1 lead over Roncalli Catholic.
Casillas, assisted by Jesus Jimenez, scored the final blow to the Crimson Pride just a minute after Orozco’s goal, putting the Minutemen up 4-1 with less than eight minutes left on the clock.
Like the Minutemen, Omaha Roncalli Catholic is known to be a strong defensive team. Their defense fought hard but couldn’t withstand the drencher that came their way as Lexington recorded an incredible 20 shots on goal in the game over just two attempts by Roncalli.
The win is an incredible opportunity for Minuteman soccer, but their journey at the state tournament has just begun.
Ahead of them, on Saturday, May 11 at 11 a.m., the Lexington boys meet with the Columbus Discoverers. The last time the Minutemen met the Discoverers at the state championships, Columbus knocked Lexington out of the bracket in the first round, 0-1, in 2017.
The Minutemen met the Discoverers earlier this season, on Monday, April 22. Lexington took the win in front of a Columbus crowd, 5-1.
Should the Lexington boys win their game with Columbus on Saturday, they will face the winner of a game between top seeded Omaha Skutt Catholic and the no. four seed Crete in the Championship final.
The State Championship Final match is scheduled for Monday, May 13.