• Photo Showcase: Nebraska state soccer, May 12
• Video Below: See highlights from Prep's win over Omaha South
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Some extra spin put one in for Omaha Creighton Prep in Saturday's Class A boys soccer semifinals, and now the Junior Jays can take aim at their eighth state title.
Second-ranked Prep scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over No. 3 Omaha South on Alex Prusa's long free kick that went through the fingers of Packer keeper D.J. Jimenez.
It certainly wasn't Prep's best chance of the day, but it was enough to move the defending champions into Tuesday's 7:15 p.m. state championship.
“The guy can hit a ball,” Junior Jays co-coach Jim Swanson said. “They dip and all that.”
Prusa's free kick definitely had some spin on it. When it got to Jimenez — just above his head — the ball pushed through his hands and trickled behind him for the score in the 32nd minute.
Prusa said he wanted to get something going toward the goal on the shot from about 30 yards out.
“I was just trying to put something on frame,” he said. “It worked.”
It was a disappointing finish for South, which met Prep for the third straight season in the state semifinals.
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“You hate to give one up like that,” South coach Joe Maass said. “But the bottom line is, if you expect to win at state, you've got to score goals. And we didn't score goals.”
The Packers did push the pace, though, especially in the second half. Prep, whose only loss this season came to South in late April, was up to every challenge.
It was the rubber match of semifinals for the two rivals. South topped Prep in 2010 to reach its only state championship in program history, and Prep prevailed last season.
While the latest chapter in the Prep-South rivalry may not have had the highlight-reel goals of past matches, the level of play was on par or better, Prep co-coach Tom Hoover said.
Prusa said the Junior Jays' slow start in the 3-2 to loss to South last month was enough to have them ready Saturday. They fell behind 2-0 in that game.
“We had to come out fast,” Prusa said. “We saw what they did to us last time when we didn't, so we needed to go right after them today.”
The title-game appearance is the third in five seasons for Prep. Its seven titles are the most among Class A boys programs. Lincoln East has six, and no other school has more than two.
Omaha South (16-6) .............................. 0 0—0
Omaha Creighton Prep (21-1) ................... 1 0—1
Goals: OCP, Alex Prusa.
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