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Mac's dreams crushed

Nov 13, 2012 | 9 Comments


By Ben Schorzman
Of the News-Register


The Grizzlies had just lost 3-0 in the 6A state quarterfinals vs. Lincoln. The conversation was muted while it sunk it that Mac was done for the season.

On the other 40-yard line, Lincoln players and coaches gathered. The mood was light and jovial.

The two teams stood 20 yards apart, but they were worlds away.

“It stings, it hurts. Kids are hurting right now,” Autencio said, “but if it didn’t hurt, they’re not competitors.”

The Grizzlies (13-3-1) were silenced Saturday by a team doing exactly what Autencio predicted last week it would take to stop them. Lincoln was skilled both athletically and soccer wise and used a pestering defense to take Mac out of its game.

“Our team has made a commitment with our defense,” Lincoln coach Billy Merck said. “That’s been the case all year. We knew the success would come if we defended well.

“It’s frightening the ability (the Grizzlies) have. They’re goal scorers.”

The Cardinals (11-1-4) frustrated Mac the entire match, stopping breaks before they got too close to their goal. Mac usually cut through opponent’s defenses with precision passing, but Saturday the Cardinals got feet on passes and poked them away, stalling drives.

“Probably one of the best defensive teams we’ve faced all year,” Autencio said. “Defensively they were tough. They were good. We would go on runs, and then we would make a pass, and they covered really well.”

The Cardinals struck first with 26:57 left in the first half. Mac goalie Miguel Perez-Flores made a great diving stop on a hard-struck ball from the top of the box, but Cole Peters was there to gather the rebound and kick it past the sprawled out Perez-Flores.

“Getting that first goal was huge because they had to adjust,” Merck said.

Mac had a few chances in the first half to equalize. Nicholas Autencio had a great shot with 12 minutes left in the half. Moises Diaz finally snuck a pass through the smothering defense to a streaking Autencio. Autencio went across the box from left to right and had set up Lincoln’s goalie, but he kicked too much of the turf on the shot, and the ball slowly rolled into the waiting arms of the goalie.

“We had two or three scoring opportunities early in the game,” the elder Autencio said. “If we capitalize, it’s a different game.

“Getting down didn’t help us much. After they got up, they started packing the back more, which made it even tougher for us.”

Just after the start of the second half, Lincoln was awarded a corner kick, and a perfect pass found the head of Ian King, who put it past Perez-Flores.

“It was our day today,” Merck said. “We executed where we needed to.”

The goal forced the Grizzlies to extend their offense even further, and Autencio moved a defensive player up with 25 minutes left in the match. He said players started getting away from what had got them this far.

“We started pounding the ball in and trying to loop over the top,” he said, “and we got away from what has worked all season for us, and that’s passing.”

The final blow came with 25:32 left in the match when Peters beat Perez-Flores to a ball in the box and was able to kick it over his head into the goal, giving Lincoln a 3-0 lead. The Grizzlies tried to find the cracks in the defense, but nothing came, and they were shut out for just the second time this season.

After the final countdown, which was vocalized by a large contingent of Lincoln fans, Mac players fell to the turf and sat there, unflinching in the cold air. Autencio said they would eventually get over the stinging loss and realize how much they accomplished this season. He said he surely has.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out,” he said, “and how much effort they gave us.”

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Comments

05:27 pm - Tue, November 13 2012
rizy said:
I wrote about a month ago on how this team had enough talent to waltz through the regular season without a good coach. During the playoffs, it's a different story. You will run against well coached teams. No disrespect to the current coach but, he simply does not the experience to compete with the better teams. It not just putting your best players out there and hoping for the best. Earlier in the season you had a coach that would have taken this team to the finals and would have won it all. Hinthorn, you messed up an opportunity for these kids to be champions. Because, of your control issues, you ruined the best chance they had. Now it will take a long time to rebuilt and other kids are going to different schools to avoid the fiasco at Mac High... Thanks Hinthorn....
09:58 pm - Tue, November 13 2012
Dances with Redwoods said:
"....other kids are going to different schools to avoid the fiasco at Mac High... ."

Kids that remain will benefit from a decrease in class size.
07:44 pm - Wed, November 14 2012
aroundtheblock said:
rizy,
07:55 pm - Wed, November 14 2012
aroundtheblock said:
rizy,
The coach that Hinthorn fired may have been persuasive in writing emails to the parents and players but was not connected to the kids, which was impossible to do when he only had two drop in sessions. Chuck Bechtol had a very influential hand in helping coaching the team this year - so there was no real change with tactics/skills taught. The coach who was fired would not have been able to get the most out of this group of kids as well as Autencio and Bechtol did. So unless you have real knowledge of the situation it is best to keep quiet.
09:04 am - Thu, November 15 2012
olman3 said:
I have had multiple boys in the Mac program for many years and the issue that came up at the beginning of the season with this group was unfortunate. However it was not the action of the AD that caused it. It was the action of the coach that was hired. In the prior years the spring and summer laid out the foundation for the year. The coach that was hired didn't take care of what he needed to do in order to give the boys any chance. My son was informed of two summer sessions over the entire summer. That was a standard week in years past, not for a complete summer. To make the statement that he could have led them to a title is false.
The graduating group from last year had an all-state goal keeper, all-state midfielder, and a great back line and outside mid that all moved on. Also lost in the fact that a very good forward did not play this year.
This years group over achieved anything that was thought of them. To win league again and make it as far as they did was great and the memories that they and I as a parent will have are tremendous. Maybe instead of throwing rocks on here you should commend an individual that stepped up when the other one flaked.
This group along with the football team have shown us all that over coming adversity is within us all.
01:07 pm - Mon, November 19 2012
rizy said:
You all are entitled to your opinions, regardless of how wrong you are. I had my son at, at least 4-5 of the drop in’s. I spoke to the coach many times throughout the summer. He had vision as well as lots of experience. He was frustrated at the school since there was no communication nor direction the entire summer from when the old AD got fired until the new AD was hired. He called out the boys for the drop in’s as to evaluate the talent and start planning. He did not want to connect or bond with the boys at that time as to not show any favoritism. The connection or bonding part was for after the tryouts. If he was persuasive in writing emails to the parents and players, then that right there tells you, he had what it takes to convince and guide the boys to a championship. What you people do not seem to understand is that, overcoming adversity has nothing to do with it. What makes a championship team is the right combination of players, coaches, goals, plans and the will to win. Mac high had all of that during the summer and then lost it. I have kept in touch with the ex-coach and I have more knowledge about the subject then any of you here. The new AD and he butted heads and the new AD (since he is controlling) and fired him. Look into this new AD past if you do not believe what I am saying. Check into the school he came from and then, try to write something intelligent. More kids will be transferring out because of this AD.
01:07 pm - Mon, November 19 2012
rizy said:
Yes, they did have a great chance of winning the title. And with the direction its going now, it will take a long while in the future to get better so, get use to the disappointing years to come.

By the way, I transferred my son to Jesuit, where this past Saturday won it all. Like the ex-coach that was fired from Mac high, they have a good coach and what no one knew, had a lot of ties with colleges and professional soccer team contacts to open the doors for the good players.

Time to move on, turn the page and move forward. Mac high, you simply lose all the way around…
09:11 pm - Tue, November 20 2012
soccermom said:
Dear Rizy,
If I am understanding your posts correctly, this isn't about the strength of the McMinnville Soocer program, but it's your disappointment with the AD. Ask any other high school AD what they would have done in this same situation. 9 times out of 10 they would have made the same decision. This coach that was fired was fired because his lack of communication to parents, to kids and to the school. I know this first hand because I am a mother to one of the players. Never once did I recieve a phone call nor an email or a text from this coach. My son attended two drop in practices (I am not sure where your son was dropping in because it wasn't with the Mac team) that were poorly run and was told to communicate to other players when the next drop in was. How is that being a great communicator by a coach? What this fired coach lacked was the experience of being a head coach and the responsibilities that come with that position. So I don't agree that he would have taken this team to a championship. This team re-grouped quickly and within the first week bonded with the coach that stepped up. He also has been a part of their soccer upbringing by coaching half of the team as youngsters. Please take your anger someplace else. We are proud of what our boys accomplished and we stuck it out during a rough time. Unlike you who packed up your son and left. What does that teach? Running away from adversity is the answer? Where was your committment to excellence? In another town? It is unfortunate that this whole situation took place. What is fortunate is this community took hold of a difficult time and embraced the players with a small town support system.Our soccer program is strong and it shows in our 4 straight League Titles.
05:04 pm - Wed, November 28 2012
MamaBear said:
I agree with soccermom 100%. My own child played sports at McMinnville High School. I do have to say that we only know the truth and or reason behind the firing based on what was told. I have had my own run in with the new AD and was personally less than impressed, however, that has nothing to do with the coach. I would have never taken my child off of a team that he was a part of, of course that is just my own way of thinking. We have to realize that in life there are people we will either agree with or not agree with. Coach Autencio does know the game of soccer, his own children have played it for years. Coach Bechtol and Coach Partida were there often with them to help out. This was a group effort. Coach Autencio took on this position since they were drawing the near the season starting and didn't have a coach. I think these boys did so well. I am curious Rizy, and I'm not judging, but why Jesuit? Were you after a win? Is that what is so important to you, just winning? There are plenty of other schools you could have put your child and yet you chose Jesuit. I just think it's important to teach our children to stick things through and I think the building of relationships and team bonding is way more valuable than anything. My son may have never won a State Championship Soccer Title while in high school, but he learned wonderful life lessons and those my friend will last a lifetime. As I said, I'm with soccer mom, running from adversity is not the answer now or ever.

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