State soccer semifinals

Minutemen fall after a tough 80 minutes, 1-2

OMAHA – The Minutemen soccer season comes to a close with a 1-2 loss to the Columbus Discoverers in the semifinal round of the NSAA State Soccer Championships at Morrison Stadium in Omaha. The Minutemen end their season with a 14-3 season record while the Discoverers moved on to face Omaha Skutt Catholic in the finals on Monday, May 13. The Discoverers fell to the Skutt Catholic boys in the final, 1-0.

“Another slow start at the state tournament,” Lexington head coach Jess McHargue said in an interview after the game. “We’ve said it over and over, ‘anything can happen at Morrison.’ I thought, after we got our goal, something crazy was going to happen.”

The Minutemen scored their lone goal in a 0-2 deficit in the first half of the game, when Junior Casillas tapped a goal into the net in the 38th minute.

The Minutemen, who normally have a lopsided advantage with possession in their games, spent more of their time fighting to regain possession in Saturday’s game with the Discoverers. Coach McHargue thought a bad run of luck, fatigue or both had contributed to the Minutemen spending more time on their end of the field against Columbus.

“We didn’t have luck on our side today,” he explained. “It was for us to get here and wasn’t with us today, it’s just the way the ball bounces.”

When asked about the Minutemen spending more time chasing after possession in Satruday’s game he responded, “I don’t really know what it was, for sure. I think we had some heavy legs, were a step slow and were second to a lot of things. When you do that, good teams are going to punish you. Columbus was just a step quicker and did a lot of things right. They’re a good team that is well organized, and they just got the better of us today.”

The games are over and the season has closed, once again, on Nebraska high school soccer. The hard work and dedication of Minuteman soccer, however, is far from done as the Minutemen will start thinking about next year in just a matter of weeks.

“It’s going to start here in about two weeks,” McHargue said. “We’ll name our captains, we’ll start thinking about what we need to do this summer and get back to work.”

The end to any season is emotional. For Minuteman soccer, a team whose battle cry coming out of huddle is ‘family,’ it can be heart wrenching. McHargue, however, is proud of his team and while sad to see the seniors go is looking forward to watching the Minutemen continue to grow.

“I’m extremely proud,” he said. “We’ve got that tight knit group of four seniors that embodied what it means to be a Minuteman. They’ve set a great example for this extremely young team and I think we’re going to see a young team that trains harder in the offseason and comes back hungrier than any other team ever has. It’s going to be fun to watch this team grow.”

McHargue also mentioned his gratefulness to the fans.

“We’ve got great soccer moms who’ve supported us with meals,” McHargue said in closing. “We’ve got dads that have come and just been rowdy and kept our spirits high and I just really appreciate the parents and the community of Lexington for all their support and love that we felt throughout this run. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

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