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Lincoln completes redemption tour with perfect ending

Tim Tushla
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

From runner-up last year, to state champs in 2023, Sioux Falls Lincoln has completed the redemption tour in ‘AA’ boys soccer. The Patriots defeated O’Gorman on Saturday night in Brandon in a 3-2 match that ended in a shootout.

Santiago Patino put the Knights on the board early in the contest. That score would hold through the first half of play.

“Just keep playing our game," said Lincoln head boys soccer coach Alex Nelson. "The first 20 minutes were not Lincoln soccer. Just got back to our game, cleaned up some of our touches, and some of them started going our way.”

The score would remain tied through most of the second period as well. With just over 11-minutes to play in regulation, Lincoln’s Ryder Syverson tied it up. The game remained tied at 1-1 at the end of 80-minutes of play.

Syverson would score again for the Patriots in the first overtime period, but in the second overtime period, O’Gorman answered back with another goal from Patino. From there it went to a shootout.

“We’ve been working on them the last few weeks," Nelson said. "As soon as postseason starts, we get into [penalty kicks], and at that point just muscle memory, and it worked out in our favor.”

Lincoln scored on every opportunity in the shootout, and a big save by Henry Eckert set up a game winning opportunity for Camden Thomas.

His goal in the shootout clinched the state championship for the Patriots.

Last season, Lincoln lost in the ‘AA’ title game to Rapid City Stevens, which put an extra chip on the Patriots shoulders heading into the 2023 campaign.

“We had a sour taste in our mouth, the whole team did," Nelson explained. "We got back to work in July and August. Here we are, these guys deserved, they earned it, it’s time to celebrate.”

This is the third state soccer championship for the Lincoln Patriots boys soccer program. They’ll graduate eight seniors off of this year’s squad in the coming spring.

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.