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Younker, Cal Lu head to playoffs

Former St. Francis High standout, Kingsmen face familiar foe in first round.

November 16, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

The following are updates on area athletes at the collegiate level.

Rian Younker (St. Francis High, 2009) junior, Cal Lutheran football: The Kingsmen closed out a dominating regular season with wins over Chapman and Occidental for a 8-1 and undefeated, 6-0, Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record.

Younker, a defensive lineman, has been a force for Cal Lutheran this year, raking up a fourth-most 37 tackles (20 solo, 17 assisted) for his team this year. He also has 11 ½ tackles for a loss, six of which were sacks – both of which are team highs. He's also credited for hurrying opposing quarterbacks a team-high four times.

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Younker had three tackles in a 61-31 victory over Chapman on Nov. 5 and two tackles, one for a loss, in a 70-20 win against Occidental on Saturday.

The win puts No. 8 Cal Lutheran in a NCAA Tournament game against fifth-ranked Linfield (9-0) at noon at Maxwell Field in McMinnville, Ore. on Saturday. Linfield beat the Kingsmen, 24-14, in the first game of the season on Sept. 10 and have been the only team to do so this year.

There is plenty of history between the two squads, who have met five times in the last three years. Linfield has defeated Cal Lutheran in the first round of the playoffs in 2009 and 2010.

"I knew that we would eventually go through McMinnville, Oregon at some point," Kingsmen Coach Ben McEnroe told the university's website. "It's become like our home away from home. They are a great program and we are very familiar with each other. I think this is the best team we've had with the best chance to compete up there."

Arash Mahboubi (La Cañada High, 2010) freshman, Pomona-Pitzer men's soccer: In one year, Mahboubi went from leading the Spartans' midfield to the Sagehens and earned second-team All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors in the process.

The freshman emerged as a leader for Pomona-Pitzer right away, filling in as the team's primary center midfielder and finishing with three goals and two assists. Mahboubi proved to have a flair for the dramatic, as all three of his goals were game-winners.

The Sagehens finished the season with a 10-9, 9-5 in conference, record and fell to the University of Redlands, 3-0, in the semifinals of the conference tournament on Nov. 2.

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