Before the showdown with Hillsboro, the Lincolnwood High School soccer team squared off against one of the hosts of the Kickoff Classic On Route 66, North Mac. The Lancers would get a goal from one of its sophomore standouts in the first half to take a lead on the Panthers, then held on for the 1-0 win.
Kennedy DeWerff, one of eight sophomores on the roster, many of whom play a key role for Head Coach Joe Webb, picked up the go-ahead score in the first half, netting a 30-yard wonder strike to beat the North Mac keeper.
“We worked hard with him all week and he responded,” Webb said of DeWerff. “You don’t realize how young we are until you look at our roster. We have talent, but we are still young and we’re learning.”
Another of those young players to step up was goalkeeper Gabe Armentrout, a sophomore in his first year as varsity keeper. In Lincolnwood’s first three games, Armentrout had allowed just one goal, with two shutouts against Taylorville and North Mac.
“Gabe’s an athlete that we’re teaching to play goalie and he’s further ahead than where we thought he’d be. He had some big plays against North Mac and he was confident and communicating,” Webb said. “He’s doing awesome. That’s big for us, because I think we have the chance to be really good this year.”
How good? Only time will tell, but Webb sees potential in this year’s roster.
“We’re still a ways from where we need to be, but we’re working on it. We changed everything from the past three years this year, so that’s a process. We’re keeping the ball on our foot too much, which also wears you out in games like the Hillsboro game,” Webb said. “But I love my team. They work hard. They’re confident. They kind of have the same mentality that I do and I’m having fun.”
The fun continues at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 31, when Lincolnwood takes on Staunton at Carlinville.
August 28 at Virden
Kickoff Classic on Rt. 66
North Mac 0 0 - 0
Lincolnwood 1 0 - 1
Scoring: Lincolnwood - Kennedy DeWerff 1. Goalkeeper: Lincolnwood Gabe Armentrout (2nd shutout).