PUYALLUP — It didn’t matter what the Edmonds-Woodway High School boys soccer team tried, there was nothing that could slow down the Lincoln Lynx.
Lincoln put on a clinic of possession soccer, and Edmonds-Woodway’s quest for a state championship came crashing to a halt with a 6-1 loss to the Lynx in the Class 3A state semifinals Friday afternoon at Sparks Stadium.
Wren Wagner scored twice, and Lincoln scored four times in a 13-minute span of the second half as the top-seeded Lynx dominated from start to finish against the fourth-seeded Warriors.
“That wasn’t us today,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Jason Hanson said. “We kind of got off on the wrong foot to start the game and we were playing on our heels quite a bit.”
Samuel London, Owen Albrecht, Nicholas Winemiller and Edan Gortzak also scored goals for Lincoln (20-0-1), as the Seattle-based school advanced to face No. 14 Ballard in the championship game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Sparks Stadium.
“We played well,” Lincoln coach Noble Hendrix said. “There have been games where we maybe didn’t realize our potential, and today was one of the days where I think we’re starting to see how we can combine and play well in a lot of different ways. It was nice to see us score a bunch of goals — some of those were off shins or came off their players — but I think overall I was pretty happy with the way we controlled the ball and played together as a team.”
Kincaid Sund scored the lone goal for Edmonds-Woodway (18-2-2). The Warriors can still achieve their highest finish since Edmonds and Woodway high schools merged in 1990 if they can win the third-place game. Edmonds-Woodway faces No. 7 Lakeside in that game at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sparks Stadium.
Lincoln kept the ball throughout, which left the Warriors having to chase the game. It also meant Edmonds-Woodway was never able to get its talisman, senior forward Ben Hanson, on the ball to affect the game in a meaningful way.
“They were really good on the ball, and I felt like we gave them far too much time on the ball to turn and run at us,” Jason Hanson said. “Defensively our marks weren’t tight enough. They didn’t have to work as hard as we did in the first half, I’ll tell you that. But kudos to them, they took advantage of all their opportunities.”
The first of those came just six minutes into the contest, and the Lynx cashed in. Wagner found some daylight with the ball 30 yards out and let fly with a shot that flew into the upper corner to give the Lynx an early 1-0 lead.
Lincoln continued to dominate and had several good chances that went wide, but the Lynx got their second goal in the 38th minute. A crisp passing movement resulted in Albrecht playing London in on the right. London finished unerringly into the far corner to make it 2-0.
It looked dire for Edmonds-Woodway, but the Warriors gave themselves a lifeline just before the half ended. Richard Duncan put a free kick from 45 yards into the box, where Sund rose above the fray to flick a header into the corner and make it a one-goal contest heading into the second half.
The Warriors created some dangerous moments early in the second half, with Duncan having a tame header from an Alex Plumis save, and Duncan then firing a free kick from 20 yards out right into the arms of Ballard goalkeeper Soren Anderson Petersen.
But Lincoln restored its two-goal advantage in the 55th minute courtesy of a moment of fortune. Sund went to clear the ball after a spell of Lynx pressure, but the ball cannoned off Albrecht and arrowed back into the corner of the goal to make it 3-1.
It was another unfortunate bounce that made it 4-1 three minutes later. Wagner worked his way into the left side of the penalty box, and his shot deflected off defender Alexander Bryan and into the far corner.
But there was no misfortune to Lincoln’s fifth and sixth goals. Great interplay between Anders Beckton and Winemiller on the counterattack led to Beckton playing Winemiller in free, and Winemiller put it away to make it 5-1 in the 63rd minute. Then Gortzek took a shot first-time from the top of the box, placing it into the top corner to make it 6-1 in the 68th.
“We played a great second 20 minutes in the first half and got that goal,” Jason Hanson said. “I really wish it wouldn’t have been halftime because we were going to grab some momentum. It was good to get a little rest, but then I think we didn’t find our rhythm again the whole second half. They got two very lucky goals, which is hard to come back from when you’re playing a very good team like that. It’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t diminish all that we’ve accomplished, and we still have another game to play tomorrow.”