Attack-minded Placer falls to Lincoln

Hillgals likely out of PVL playoff race
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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Attack was the word on Placer High’s mind Thursday night at Le Febvre Stadium as it tried to secure a playoff bid. Unfortunately for the Hillgals, Lincoln wasn’t about to let second place in the Pioneer Valley League standings go so easily. The Hillmen fell 2-0 to the Zebras despite controlling the ball most of the game. Lincoln employed a five-person defensive line that gave the Hillgals trouble and forced a number of quick shots that sailed over the goal. “Unfortunately we had our opportunities but tonight wasn’t our night,” Placer coach Steve Cook said. “I’m really proud of this team, I’m proud of my seniors and they never quit.” Placer fell to 3-5-1 in the PVL (7-9-1 overall) and likely cemented a fourth-place finish with only last-place Foothill remaining on the league schedule. Only the top three teams advance to the playoffs. Both teams struggled offensively in the first half but Placer adjusted to Lincoln’s stingy defense with a four-person front. The change opened up several opportunities in the second half, including an early attempt by junior forward Sabrina Viscuso that went over the crossbar. But with four forwards that meant Placer had to play with three defenders. Lincoln (5-2-2 PVL, 11-4-4) took advantage in the rare opportunity it controlled the ball when Melissa Arthurs connected on a shot from about 10 yards out to put the Zebras up 1-0. After the goal things turned ugly as Lincoln was called for two yellow cards and Placer junior Olivia Holmes picked up one that led to a late Lincoln score. “Lincoln’s a physical team and we just had to match the intensity,” Holmes said. “It’s really frustrating because you don’t get that many (scoring opportunities). So when you get them you’ve got to make sure they’re good because when they’re not it’s a real disappointment.”