Boys Soccer: Lincoln forces tie to break Lowell’s 47-game AAA win streak

Lowell junior Eli Alperin (right) and Lincoln sophomore defender Jeffrey Alfredo Fuentes battle for position on Tuesday at Lincoln High School. (Photo by Willie Eashman)

By Jeremy Balan

The Lincoln High School boys soccer team doesn’t use the on-field scoreboard for its home games, but even if it did, you wouldn’t believe the score the way the Mustangs and Lowell were playing late in their Academic Athletic Association matchup on Tuesday.

The Cardinals were playing with the urgency and panic of a team trailing, while the Mustangs were calmly doing everything they could to delay the game, as if they were holding on to a lead.

Neither was true, however, and the teams finished locked in a 1-1 tie, but the implications of that tie were far from normal.

It ended Lowell’s 47-game AAA win streak.

As the final whistle blew, several Lowell players buried their heads in their hands, while the Mustangs celebrated like it was a win.

Lincoln senior goalkeeper Jacob MacDonald (behind) knocks away a ball from Lowell senior forward Avery Fisher. (Photo by Willie Eashman)

“For us, it’s an actualization that we can do,” said Lincoln head coach Kenyatta Scott. “It’s a huge win for our confidence and to let them know that they can. It felt like a win. It really did.”

The last time Lowell (9-0-3, 9-0-1) didn’t secure a win in a AAA game was against Mission on Nov. 3, 2009, a 1-0 loss in the league semifinals.

“I don’t know if people will believe this, but we don’t talk about [the winning streak],” said Lowell head coach Marcos Estebez. “I think that it’s futile to talk about winning streaks, because they always end.”

Lowell jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from junior Will Slotterback in the fourth minute, when he deflected a free kick from senior defender Peter Harrington into the bottom right corner of the net.

The Cardinals didn’t have another solid scoring opportunity for the rest of the half and Lincoln (9-2-2, 8-1-1) struck back early in the second.

In the 51st minute, Lincoln sent the ball into the Cardinals’ penalty area and it was deflected toward the net, into the path of Lowell senior captain Zachary Weisenburger. A normally sure-footed defender, Weisenburger was fooled by the spin on the ball and could not get control of it.

Lowell goalkeeper Abdul Monim also slid in to try to break up the play, but Lincoln freshman Raury Girling was in the right spot at the right time and chipped the loose ball just over Monim and into the net.

It was Lincoln’s only shot on target in the game and Lowell dominated the rest of the way.

But as much as the Cardinals controlled possession and chances, with every missed opportunity, they grew more and more frustrated.

“There were players that were tight – a little nervous,” Estebez said. “So, there were some mistakes that were made, because for some of these boys, this is the biggest game they’ve been in.”

Lowell sent several golden opportunities sailing well over the crossbar, but it was the play of Lincoln senior goalkeeper Jacob MacDonald that ultimately kept the Cardinals scoreless. MacDonald made seven saves, but also slid in to cut off Lowell attackers twice.

Granted, many of the Lowell shots were sent directly at MacDonald, but none were without considerable strength. MacDonald corralled them all, when one rebound could have meant a loss.

“The man of the match today was our goalkeeper Jacob MacDonald,” Scott said. “I’m not taking anything away from Lowell, but he definitely shut them down. They had their opportunities to not just take the lead, but to really punish us, and Jacob rose to the occasion.”

Although Lowell has lost its win streak, what survives is a 48-game unbeaten streak. The Cardinals will take that streak into Thursday’s game against fellow unbeaten Mission, which will likely decide the top seed in the AAA playoffs.

“I hope [this motivates us],” Estebez said. “They were very down – I thought more down than they should have been. It wasn’t like they didn’t try. They made mistakes, but both teams made mistakes. So, I’m a little worried, because we have our biggest game coming up. We can’t beat ourselves up to the point where we will be emotionally impotent against Mission, who expects us to bring our ‘A’ game.”

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  1. Lowell House says:

    Delaying the game and playing for a tie when it’s not tournament soccer is weak. Lincoln lost a
    little class yesterday.

    • Lincoln student says:

      Well the tie got them to clinch a playoff spot and now they have a good chance of clinching the second seed

    • JJ says:

      I think you are just unhappy because Lowell’s win streak was snapped. Next time, don’t let Lincoln tie it up in the 2nd half, if you are gonna cry about it. I’ve seen Lowell do worse things than play for a tie like wearing inappropriate t-shirts and showing up your opponents.

      • Lowell House says:

        That’s the girls team dude. Doesn’t matter anyway, Lincoln will be knocked out before they play Lowell again. If not, they’ll get crushed.

        • JJ says:

          Whether Lincoln gets crushed by Lowell in a rematch or gets eliminated before they play again, the 2012-13 Lincoln soccer team will always be remembered as the team that snapped Lowell’s 47-game AAA win streak. They will always be known as the team that did it. Just like in football, Bellevue HS will always be known as the team that snapped De La Salle’s 151 game win streak. When they get older, the Lincoln soccer players can always tell their grandkids that they shocked the AAA soccer world with a tie

    • Lowell student says:

      Lincoln played for the tie. They should of played to win.

      • JJ says:

        Lowell was 47-0 last 47 games vs the AAA. I think it’s a great accomplishment for Lincoln to get a tie and break Lincoln’s win streak. Great job Lincoln.

        • Lowell House says:

          Lol JJ you sounds like a public school teacher. Let’s all strive for mediocrity!

          Also no one is saying its not a great accomplishment for Lincoln. If they play their hardest and play the game like its supposed to be played and tie, so be it. But they didn’t they just started kicking it away and blatantly wasting time during free kicks, throw ins etc, when they weren’t even winning. Their goalie stopped the ball at hit feet and waited for pressure before picking it up. That’s low class.

          • ghouse says:

            lol thats called strategy..

          • JJ says:

            All the teachers at Lowell are public school teachers. So does that mean Lowell is mediocre? Sorry you guys couldn’t get 48 wins in a row. Better luck next time. We’ll have to wait another 3 years to find out if you can get 47 in a row again. But the Class of 2012 of Lowell will always been known as the team that couldn’t live up to the legacy.

  2. MHS SWAGG ONLY says:

    Mission will actually take away their undefeated run, as of right now they haven’t been beaten, tomorrow they will be @MHS 3:45 pm if anyone wants to watch the biggest non-playoff game of the AAA season

  3. jacob says:

    MacDonald had 10 saves actually

    • jbalan says:

      I was tracking it. He had seven. A shot is a shot. Not an interception, a punch-out, getting possession on a through ball or a ball directed toward the net that was not intended to be a shot.

      And please use the name you have posted under before. I changed it for you, but please read the Commenting Code of Conduct.

    • Lowell House says:

      Haha I suppose you’re a different Jacob, posting to right the injustice of a fellow Jacob having three less weak saves than he actually managed. Better cherish keeping the ball out of the net for that long, it won’t last.

  4. Lincoln student says:

    You guys are gonna lose to mission anyways so why are you guys crying Lincoln is a Legit team with heart and passion and Lincoln got pride we aways gonna keep it #3Hunna… Win or lose mustang for life

  5. swagg master says:

    Lincoln fina go ham in da playoff. #shmoplife

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