Bobcats stave off Scarlets in 2OT
Thanks to an acrobatic throw-in by MHS senior Eli Devine, the Bobcat boys’ soccer team remained undefeated Tuesday at Leonard Cole Field.
Devine’s impressive spinning toss from the sidelines in double overtime led to a scrum in front of the net, and the Bobcats took full advantage as Agustin Tellez pushed the ball past Des Moines East goalkeeper Bryan Ortiz for the game-winner during a 3-2 victory that kept Marshalltown unbeaten.
“Adversity was huge tonight for us,” MHS coach Creighton Jenness said. “The guys played through it exceptionally well. They won tonight because they had the desire and the confidence they would win.”
The Bobcats are now 7-0 on the season but this one may have been the toughest match yet. It was the first time Marshalltown had been down in the first seven matches.
“East is much better than its record indicates,” Jenness said. “They are a high quality team. Anyone can have a great game or a bad game, you never know what is going to happen. We expected to not have it be quite this difficult. We played pretty well though.”
Marshalltown controlled play for much of the contest but it was East that took advantage of its opportunties early.
Carlos Smith scored his first goal of the night in the 11th minute to put the Scarlets (2-5) up 1-0. That came after Martin Chavarria nearly put the Bobcats in front on two separate occasions.
Chavarria would eventually tie the match at 1-all in the final 25 seconds of the half. He crushed a left-footed shot that bent around the right post to put the Bobcats on the board.
Marshalltown continued to control play in the second half but did not gain an advantage on the scoreboard until the 63rd minute.
Two chances to make it 2-1 were unsuccessful before that. Kevin Martinez’s near goal was batted over the crossbar by Ortiz in the 46th minute and a nice attempt at a header by Chavarria off a nice feed from Alfonso Gonzalez also just missed the net.
The Bobcats would finally grab their first lead of the match when Chavarria took advantage of a through ball pass from Alejandro Perez. Chavarria out-ran a pair of East defenders, beat Ortiz in a one-on-one situation and then poked the ball into the net to give MHS the 2-1 advantage.
“When we stay positive and possess the ball, great things usually happen,” Jenness said. “The attitudes were great tonight. This was a good win.”
Smith had an answer for the Bobcats though. He was given a free kick just outside the goalie box and put it past MHS keeper Kreighton Miller. The equalizer came with 13 minutes to play in the match.
A free kick attempt by Marshalltown with 9:28 to play just missed the net at the other end as the shot sailed high of the crossbar.
That was the last real good chance by both teams as the game went into overtime.
The only good opportunity in the first overtime for Marshalltown came with 5:45 to play but Chavarria’s hard shot sailed too high and wide of the goal.
The Bobcats wasted little time in the second 10 minutes though. The Devine throw-in nearly went into the goal on its own before Tellez’s putback off a couple deflections ended it.
“I knew it was going to be good when I saw three of our guys right around the net,” Jenness said. “It was pretty much our three guys against their goalkeeper. It was a beautiful goal.”
Jenness said that if Ortiz would have let the ball go into the net on the throw-in without being touched, East would have been given possession.
“Most keepers go to catch. It can go off the keeper and then you can kick it,” Jenness said. “Lucky for us, it hit off him and then off a couple other people and we were able to put it in.”
Marshalltown out-shot the Scarlets 19-10. Miller made nine saves in the win. Ortiz took the loss but stopped eight shots for East.
Victor Cisneros and Chavarria were both given yellow cards in the win. … Before delivering the final assist, Rodriguez was helped off the field with an apparent ankle injury. East’s Adrian Olivares also missed some time with an injury. … Chavarria now has six goals and two assists in the first seven matches. … The Bobcats will next host Newton at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Leonard Cole Field. The Cardinals have just one loss on the season.