The Thunderbolts scored five times in the first half on Friday en route to a 6-0 rout of the Minutemen in the first round of the Class B boys state soccer tournament.
Last season, Pius and Lexington had to play their first-round match over two days because of bad weather on opening night. The final 52:38, plus overtimes and the shootout, were played at Omaha South's Collin Stadium.
Lexington won that match 2-1 with a 4-3 advantage in the shootout. But it wasn't necessarily revenge that the 15-3 Thunderbolts had on their mind during this year's rematch at Creighton's Morrison Stadium.
“We watched the video from last year, and we had the opportunities,” Pius coach Harlan Milder said. “The boys came in knowing we did a really nice job last year. We just couldn't get the ball to the net.”
Defenseman Nicholas Hinds scored the first goal at 2:43 with a shot from about 10 yards out. It was his fourth goal of the season.
Junior midfielder Eric Pryor followed with the first of his three goals at 5:55 with a shot to the corner. Pryor also scored the fourth and fifth Pius goals in a span of just over seven minutes late in the first half after Nick Pohlen had put the Thunderbolts up 3-0 with a long shot at 20:46.
“Last year the rain delay messed us up,” Pryor said. “We just kept building from that first goal. We were pretty confident coming in.”
The lone second-half goal was scored with just under two minutes to play by Scott Jenkins off an assist from Pryor.
Both Milder and Pryor expect Saturday's 6 p.m. semifinal match against South Sioux City — a 6-1 winner over Grand Island Northwest — to have a completely different look and feel than Friday's opener.
“South Sioux City plays a shorter passing game,” Milder said. “Lexington plays longer balls out of the back.”
Pryor knew after watching part of the Cardinals win where Pius will have to focus its efforts.
“We have to win in the midfield,” Pryor said. “It seems like they have good footwork.”
Lincoln Pius X (15-3)........................................5 1—6
Lexington (12-8)............................................0 0—0
Goals: 1, LP, Nicholas Hinds, Eric Pryor 3, Nick Pohlen, Scott Jenkins.
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