MUSCATINE - The Linn-Mar Lions received a standing ovation from their fans Thursday following their strong performance at the Class 3A state soccer tournament.
The 10th-ranked Lions gave No. 1 Ankeny a tough battle before falling, 2-0, in the quarterfinals at the Muscatine Soccer Complex.
Ankeny is undefeated and the defending state champion, but it was a 1-0 game until the Hawkettes scored their clinching goal with just 3:48 left in the game.
Linn-Mar (13-7) had three good chances to score in the final 17 minutes, but each opportunity slipped away. The Lions finally ran out of time, but not before giving the top-ranked team a stiff challenge in 80-degree heat and bright sunshine.
After the game, the Lions received a handsome award from the IGHSAU for reaching the state tournament. The entire team then ran across the field and acknowledged their fans, who stood and applauded their effort.
Mary Brandt gave Ankeny a 1-0 lead with an unassisted goal with 22 minutes left in the first half. It stayed that way until Amber Nieland scored with 3:48 remaining in the game on an assist from Aubree Larson.
Ankeny (19-0) will face Waukee (14-5) in the Class 3A semifinals on Friday. Cedar Rapids Kennedy (15-4) meets Bettendorf (18-2) in the other semifinal.
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