DES MOINES — Abraham Lincoln girls soccer had its share of attacking opportunities against Waukee in Tuesday’s Class 3A state quarterfinal at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines, but couldn’t place the ball in the net in a 3-0 loss.
Waukee scored all three of its goals in the first half.
“(There was) just two unlucky breaks early on,” Abraham Lincoln head coach Robbie Miller said. “That gave them the 2-0 lead. I thought the game was fairly even for the most part. I feel like we actually had the better chances throughout the game. The scoreboard didn’t show.
“Sometimes soccer goes that way. Sometimes you’re a little unlucky. But the girls played hard. They worked hard. They’ve worked hard all season. I’m proud of the effort they gave today.”
The Waukee Warriors’ first goal came in the ninth minute, when sophomore Natalie Gallagher scored off an assist from senior Haley Horman.
Waukee scored again 11 minutes later when sophomore Anna Coppola batted through the Abraham Lincoln backline to place one in the back of the net.
“I feel we were energized, well prepared and well rested,” Waukee head coach Tony Gabriel said. “So, with the heat like this, it’s important to have a quick start and a good start and we did and we jumped up early and we’re able to capitalize on that.”
The Warriors scored their final goal in the 33rd minute when senior Ellie Dunphy snuck a ball past the goalkeeper from a corner kick taken by sophomore Zoey Mahoney.
“They’re a super offensive team,” Miller said. “They pass really well, they move the ball around. We knew some of their things. Their first goal is something we scouted. We knew it was going to happen. We just had a little mental lapse and the ball went in.
“We knew we had to transition quickly because they get caught up so far. We did that for the most part. We got some chances, didn’t finish today.”
Lynx freshman goalkeeper Savanna Vanderwerf did thwart many of the Warriors’ attacks, finishing the game with six saves.
Junior Hanna Schimmer led Abraham Lincoln on offense with three shots on goal.
“We had the chances there,” Miller said. “Their goalkeeper is fantastic. Their defense is good. We had the chances it just didn’t quite fall our way today.”
Schimmer and Vanderwerf weren’t the only players that stood out to Miller for Abraham Lincoln.
“Jazmin Martinez in the midfield, she was running all over, putting in a lot of work in the midfield,” he said. “We knew if we were going to have a good game today she was going to have to be one of the ones putting in the effort. Hanna Schimmer, she’s still injured. Her ankle is not 100% and she gave it her all today and working really hard. Those two gave incredible effort. Paige Bracker in the back always defending back there. She’s incredible, the amount of energy she has is awesome.”
Abraham Lincoln finished the season with a 16-4 record. This is the final game for two seniors, Crystena Keesee and Taylor Hartenhoff, but the Lynx will return a majority of the core players.
“High character kids, they gave a lot,” Miller said of his two seniors. “They worked hard every practice and came out in every game. ... They both have given so much to this program and they’ve been to state every year. It’s that foundation that they brought that’s making this program successful.”
Abraham Lincoln will return its top two goal scorers, freshman Liberty Bates and Schimmer, as well as sophomore Piper McGuire, who led the Lynx in assists.
“I told them, ‘Remember the sting of this loss. Let it fuel you throughout the offseason,’ when they go out and play with their club teams to get better and improve,” Miller said. “We’re going to come back and be really hungry next season.”
Abraham Lincoln (16-4) 0 0 — 0
Waukee (15-3) 3 0 — 3