Spartans blow past the Storm, punch ticket to state following 6-2 victory


Photo by Francis Gardler, Lincoln Journal Star

Senior Briley Hill scored 3 goals to spark a 6-2 Spartan victory and secure their ticket to the state tournament.

It was a night to remember for the Lincoln East girls soccer team in the A-3 District Final at Seacrest Field May 6th. With a win, the Spartans would punch their ticket to state, and after a loss from 2nd seeded Gretna, the wild card was no longer in play. It was a win or go home scenario for East and they weren’t quite ready to call it a season.

On a pleasant Thursday night, the Spartans faced off against the Elkhorn South Storm for a chance to go to the state tournament at Morrison Field in Omaha, Nebraska. For the first 25 minutes, the Spartans had several shots on goal to no avail, until senior Briley Hill was tripped up inside the penalty box and was awarded a free kick. She snuck the shot past goalie Makenna Miller to score her first goal of the game. Not even 5 minutes later, she got loose on a freeball and found the net again for her second goal to increase the lead to 2-0. The Storm countered with a minute left to make it 2-1 but then with one second left, sophomore Page Monson took a shot from 15 yards out that bounced off the crossbar and straight down to make it 3-1 at the half.

But the Spartans weren’t content with a two goal lead. They went on another burst midway through the second half. Sophomore Grace Peterson rebounded a shot off the post and found the net. Then Hill scored her third goal of the game on a set piece from the corner, followed by another goal from the corner headed in by sophomore Annie Mulder. The Storm got another goal late after a free kick from Addy Gleckler but it was too late to make any difference as the Spartans rolled to a 6-2 win and punched their ticket to the state tournament for the second time in as many seasons.

For senior Nebraska commit Briley Hill, the state tournament is a special place. “This tournament is so special because you finally get to show the state what you are capable of and the hard work that your team has put in. The environment is unmatched,” Hill said. But because of the environment, nerves can often be an issue, especially for a young team filled with underclassmen like the Spartans. But with Hill and other upperclassmen’s experience, she hopes that her teammates can “enjoy and soak in the experience, but also stay calm and confident on the pitch.” East will look to do just that beginning May 12th in Omaha.