FIRTH -- The Beatrice boys soccer season came to an end Monday night in the first round of the B-4 District Tournament.
The fifth-seeded Orangemen fell to fourth-seeded Lincoln Lutheran/Raymond Central 1-0 at Norris High School.
With the win, Lincoln Lutheran/Raymond Central advanced to the semifinals to play top-seeded Norris Tuesday night. Beatrice's season ends.
Beatrice and Lincoln Lutheran were knotted at 0-0 for most of the night with both teams getting opportunities to score. Lincoln Lutheran was finally able to find the back of the net with 13.57 left in regulation on a shot from about 35 yards out. It just got over the head of Beatrice goalie Adam Riekenberg.
Beatrice was down, but they weren't out. Just a few minutes later, Bennett Crandall was able to break free down the middle of the field and was one on one with the Lincoln Lutheran goalie.
Crandall's shot bounced off the right post of the goal. It would be Beatrice's last scoring threat of the night.
Despite the loss, Beatrice coach Corey Wells said it was the best his team has played all year.
"We did everything is this game but score," Wells said. "We controlled most of the game against a .500 team and I think that's definitely the way we are capable of playing and we showed that today."
Particularly, Wells said he liked the confidence his team showed, such as his midfielder's ability to win the ball in the air and then pressuring every ball.
"Especially in the first half, we just smothered everything," Wells said. "They were never able to clear the ball away and we continued to find possession. Our players also did a nice job playing to each other's feet. We were playing with purpose, which created opportunities -- we just weren't able to finish."
Wells said the goal that was scored by Lincoln Lutheran was a matter of a kid putting a shot on goal. Riekenberg got his hands on the ball, but it just got over him into the net.
"The wind was swirling a little bit and I think the wind was a little weird, so it was a tough one for Adam (Riekenberg) to read," Wells said. "He had also just stepped up to clear a ball out and he hadn't quite fully recovered back to his line. It was just one of those weird things."
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When Crandall broke free just a few minutes later, Wells said he was personally already thinking overtime.
"If that shot is just an inch further to the inside, it's in," Wells said. "It's a game of inches. I thought it was going to be a goal and I was already thinking overtime. It's just another example of us getting an opportunity, but just not being able to quite finish."
It was the final game for eight seniors, including Devin Norris, Preston Goin, John Spilker, Adam Riekenberg, Grant Meyer, Tanner York, Chase Barber, Dylan Diehl and Juan Hernandez.
It was a big group and Wells said he wishes he could have had more of them for all four years.
"We had some great leadership and the guys who played all four years were the best examples of that," Wells said. "We had a couple seniors come into play just for their senior years and they did anything we asked of them and they also were good leaders -- I just wish would could have had them for all four years.
The Orangemen were unable to get a win in 2019, but Wells said that record doesn't reflect his team.
"We have a grinder of a schedule and coming into district games like today, you never know what our confidence level is going to be," Wells said. "Our record doesn't show what we are capable of and we had a chance to beat a very solid team today."
Lady O advances to district semis
The Beatrice girls team was victorious in their opening round match against Crete Monday night in the B-6 District at YMCA Spirit Park in Lincoln.
The fourth-seeded Lady O beat fifth-seeded Crete 3-0. They advanced to Tuesday's semifinals against top-seeded Lincoln Lutheran/Raymond Central. For those results, see Thursday's Daily Sun.
The winner of that will play the winner of third-seeded York and second-seeded Seward on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Abby Ware scored two goals for Beatrice against Crete while Mock Holthus scored one goal.