The Gahanna Lincoln High School boys soccer team will have just two games remaining in the regular season by the end of this week.

The Gahanna Lincoln High School boys soccer team will have just two games remaining in the regular season by the end of this week.

Lest anyone forget, the Lions still have goals remaining in the regular season before they begin defense of their Division I state championship.

Gahanna is ranked first in the state poll this week and was first in the nation by both the ESPN RISE magazine and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America on Sept. 22.

The Lions entered last Tuesday's game against Grove City with a 34-game unbeaten streak. Although the Lions won the state title last season, they weren't perfect. They won their first 12 before playing Watkins Memorial to a scoreless tie.

They will try to avoid a similar fate this year. After playing host today to Westerville North, Gahanna will play Saturday at Massillon Jackson.

"That will be our toughest test of the regular season," said coach Dwayne Marshall, whose team has compiled a 104-10-4 record since 2004. "They have a very good program and (are 10th) in the state poll (this week). We played them in 2006 and in 2007. We beat them 1-0 in 2006 and tied them 1-1 in 2007."

Gahanna will play its final home game of the regular season Tuesday against Reynoldsburg before closing the regular season Oct. 12 at Groveport. Both are OCC-Ohio Division games. The Lions are seeking their seventh consecutive league championship.

"This group is focused on winning the league, going unbeaten and getting back to the state championship," Marshall said. "Our goals haven't changed and the kids have remained focused on them, rather than paying attention to polls."

The Lions improved to 11-0 overall and 3-0 in the league by beating Lancaster 4-0 last Saturday in a makeup game from Sept. 7. They outscored their opponents 47-4 through 11 contests.

"This year does feel different than last year," senior Wil Trapp said. "We have better chemistry and that's important in close games and important in helping us cope with the pressure we've faced all season. Last year we were the hunters and this year we're the hunted. We've got a huge target on our backs. Last year we weren't the favorite to win it all."

Trapp's role also has changed somewhat.

"I've got more defensive responsibilities now," he said. "Last year they played the ball up to me. Now I'm back on defense and trying to dictate play, get more defense on the ball. I get the ball from our back row, play it forward and try to head up and join the attack."

Although the Lions are trying to achieve several goals, Marshall is trying to balance all those goals.

"There are times, like against Lancaster, that we're going to rest some of our legs," he said. "We not only can get some guys some rest, but we have to keep everybody healthy as well."

With all the goals still in play, the Lions are hoping for a good crowd in the regular-season home finale.

"It will be a special game, a very emotional night for all of us seniors," Trapp said of the 12-player class. "But there's still a lot more left in the season after that, we hope."

"We'll play some home games in the postseason, so it won't be their final time playing at our field," Marshall said. "They're focused on playing much longer than that, so I think it will be more special for the parents than for our seniors."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Gahanna Lincoln boys and girls soccer teams:


*Sept. 21 Defeated Pickerington North 4-1. Chris Davis, Wil Trapp, Frazer Fernandes and Gavin Craig scored for the Lions, who led 2-1 at halftime. Jacob Rice made two saves.

Sept. 23 Def. Dublin Jerome 2-1. Davis and Craig scored. Rice made two saves as the Lions had a 12-3 advantage in shots on goal.

*Last Saturday Def. Lancaster 4-0 in makeup from Sept. 7. The Lions got goals from Austin Matney, Ben Crognale, Craig and Trevor Gates. Gahanna led 3-0 at halftime and Jacob Rice only had to make one save.

*Last Tuesday Played Grove City

Today Home vs. Westerville North

Saturday At Massillon Jackson

*Tuesday Home vs. Reynoldsburg

Of note: The Lions were 11-0 overall and 3-0 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.


*Last Tuesday Lost to Pickerington North 2-1. Lauren Robinson scored and Shae Ferguson made six saves. North led 1-0 at halftime.

Last Thursday Tied Dublin Jerome at 1. Maggie Mayo scored and Dayna Frison made six saves.

*Last Tuesday Played Grove City

Saturday At Beavercreek

*Tuesday At Reynoldsburg

Of note: The Lions were 7-3-1 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Ohio game