• Photo Showcase: Nebraska state soccer, May 12
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South Sioux City did something Saturday it had do only twice all season, and something it only accomplished once.
The Cardinals came from behind to win.
Class B No. 2 South Sioux City trailed on two occasions, but rallied each time and eventually wore out third-ranked Lincoln Pius X in a 4-2 win Saturday night in the semifinals of the boys state soccer tournament.
The victory moves South Sioux City into Tuesday's 5 p.m. state championship match, its second in school history.
Saturday was the third time this season the Cardinals trailed. They came back to beat Class A Norfolk 5-4 in one of those matches, and lost 1-0 to top-ranked Omaha Skutt in the other.
“They were determined,” Cardinals head coach Marla Grier said about her team's comeback Saturday. “I've never coached such a determined bunch of young men than this.”
Pius got on the board in the 14th minute when Nick Pohlen beat South Sioux City keeper Omar Hermosillo to a pass ahead and got enough of a shot on goal that a Cardinal defender couldn't get to it.
The first SSC equalizer came 13 minutes later when Jorge Perez took a switching pass from left to right from Erick Galvan and crushed a rocket high into the net from about 25 yards out. The tie wouldn't last long, though, as Ethan McClellan got free down the left side and went to the far post for a 2-1 lead just 1:43 later.
The second half, though, was all South Sioux City. The Cardinals got goals from Juan Magana, Galvan and Mario Lucero in a span of just over 10 minutes. Galvan's game-winner came on a rebound of his own miss. His header off a corner kick hit the cross bar and came right back to him.
“It happened to land right in front of me again,” Galvan said.
The trio of post-halftime scores gives South Sioux City three halves with three goals in the Cardinals' first two state tournament games
“Stronger team,” Pius coach Harland Milder said. “They're the best competition we've played. I think we underestimated how good they are.”
Milder said his offense, which struck for five first-half goals in Friday's first round, wasn't able to get enough pressure on the South Sioux defense down the stretch. The same forwards that put on a show Friday didn't get much going one day later.
“Their defense never really felt threatened by the runs they made,” Milder said. “We didn't do anything to unbalance them at all.”
Lincoln Pius X (15-4)..........................2 0—2
South Sioux City (19-1)......................1 3—4
Goals: LPX, Nick Pohlen, Ethan McClellan; SSC, Jorge Perez, Juan Magana, Erick Galvan, Mario Lucero.