Bobcats’ first loss comes in 2 OTs
URBANDALE – It was only fitting that a match that featured 18 fouls, three yellow cards and plenty of pushing and shoving would end in a direct kick.
Unfortunately, the final foul called in the game went against Marshalltown and the Bobcat boys’ soccer team suffered its first loss of the season after Urbandale’s Alen Vodenicarevic drilled a shot off the direct kick past back-up goalie Eli Devine with 3:48 to play in the second overtime.
That final tally sent the J-Hawks to the 3-2 win and dropped the Class 3A No. 11 Bobcats to 11-1 on the season.
“If you have all high points and no low points, then one thing of frustration can wreck your whole season,” MHS coach Creighton Jenness said after the team’s first defeat. “We have high expectations. To see their faces after this loss, that will propel them even more.
“If you have so much expectations for a perfect season, it will build on you so much that it can affect the next game. We don’t like to lose, but 3-2, in double overtime isn’t bad.”
The match was physical from the start. Two Bobcats – goalkeeper Kreighton Miller and Victor Cisneros – went down with ankle injuries in the first 20 minutes and the physical play continued throughout. Each team was whistled for nine fouls and three yellow cards were handed out during a very chippy second half.
“The game needed to be taken control of right at the start, and in my opinion, I don’t think it was,” Jenness said. “You are going to have games like this. There was a lot of adversity tonight. I am not going to make excuses. But the ref needed to take more control of the game.”
Urbandale, ranked 16th, got off to a quick start as it scored first just more than 6 minutes into the match. But Mi Reh’s pass to Martin Chavarria with 13:37 to play in the half tied it up and the game remained knotted at halftime.
It was Chavarria’s 15th goal of the season, which ranks tied for first in Class 3A.
Chavarria created the Bobcats’ second goal when he was taken down inside the box early in the second half. David Gomez put away the penalty kick and Marshalltown led 2-1 just four minutes into the second half.
The Bobcats appeared to be on their way to a win. Devine did a marvelous job of keeping MHS in the game with big save after big save, but Urbandale forced overtime with a tying goal from Armin Vlahovljak with 2:22 to play.
The only shot on goal in the first overtime came from Urbandale, and the J-Hawks (8-6) controlled most of the overtime sessions before finishing off the Bobcats on the direct kick with 3:48 to play in the second overtime.
Alen Vodenicarevic scored the goal off the short pass from Connor Waddell on the direct kick.
Both Chavarria and Vodenicarevic had to be separated with about five minutes to go in regulation and both were issued yellow cards. Chavarria did not return until the second overtime.
We have to keep our emotions in check,” Jenness said. “When a kid comes up and undercuts you and then comes and shoves you, emotions will run high. We need to work on that.
“He is a big presence up top. The opponents tend to gravitate toward him, which opens things up for everyone else. We need to learn to play through it if he is not on the field though.”
Jenness said he liked the way his team played when they possessed the ball. It was the moments in the game when the Bobcats played to Urbandale’s style that he did not like.
“Hopefully now the guys will listen a little bit more,” Jenness said. “Hopefully they will show a little bit more respect to their teammates, our program and keeping possession of the ball. When we were keeping possession of the ball, we absolutely dominated. When we started to play their game, that’s when they got their scoring chances. That’s why they scored the three goals.”
Jenness pointed out that Iowa City West won the Class 3A title last year and still lost a game. And the No. 4 ranked team in the nation has two losses this season. Urbandale out-shot Marshalltown 24-18, had a 13-8 advantage in shots on goal and a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks. Devine stopped 11 shots in goal in relief of Miller, who had two saves in his short time in net. The Bobcats play host to Mason City on Thursday. Action at Leonard Cole Field begins at 6:15 p.m. There will be no freshman game.