11th-ranked Bobcats dominate first half, beat Roosevelt

DES MOINES – Marshalltown junior Martin Chavarria has been facing heavy marks and double teams since he burst onto the varsity scene in his freshman season.

Des Moines Roosevelt tried to throw several defenders at him Friday and the Riders knew where Chavarria was at all times, but the Bobcats’ best goal scorer still scored a goal and added an assist in Class 3A No. 11 Marshalltown’s 3-1 win at Cownie Soccer Complex.

“It is what I am supposed to do as a forward,” Chavarria said of his Class 3A-best 17 goals this season. “The guys on this team just stick to our positions and do our jobs. My job is to score as many goals as I can.”

And scoring goals is what Chavarria has done this year.

He gave the Bobcats a 2-0 lead in the 25th minute and then put away the Riders when he dumped off a pass to David Gomez for the final tally. Sophomore Austin Lovin put Marshalltown on the scoreboard just 8:05 into the match and the Bobcats improved to 13-1 on the season. Roosevelt dropped to 7-5.

“It doesn’t matter if we win 1-0, 27-0 or 5-1. You are getting the same amount of points for the victory,” MHS coach Creighton Jenness said. “We played an excellent first half and did exactly what we’ve practiced and talked about so many times this year. We kept possession of the ball really well.”

The Bobcats led 2-0 at halftime. They outshot Roosevelt 16-1, had an 8-1 advantage in shots on goal and took five corner kicks to the Riders’ 0.

“I joked with them a little bit today because some of the guys were telling me that what we were doing was working,” Jenness said. “I guess we practice that stuff for a reason.”

But the second half was a much different story. The total shots each way were much more even, the Riders had just one less shot on goal and had more corner kicks. Roosevelt trimmed the Bobcat lead to 2-1 with a goal in the 78th minute.

But after gaining plenty of confidence and the belief that they could win, Roosevelt’s momentum was short-lived as Marshalltown put the game away 21 seconds later on Gomez’s eighth goal of the year.

“The guys have bounced back really well this year when we get scored on,” Jenness said. “We can bounce back fast. That dropped their confidence right away.

“Roosevelt stepped up its play in the second half. They played better and knew what to do to stop our possession. We also started to shut down. We didn’t go back to the basics. We didn’t possess it as well in the second half.”

Chavarria played sparingly in the Bobcats’ win over Mason City on Thursday after picking up an early yellow card. That game also got out of hand on the scoreboard and Chavarria’s services were not needed.

They were needed Friday and the junior came through despite the tremendous attention Roosevelt put on him.

“Ever since my freshman year, I have been one of the top scorers in the state,” Chavarria said. “I had a lot of marks on me last year so I am used to it. I know they are going to do that.”

Kreighton Miller returned to the goal after playing sparingly earlier in the week against state-ranked Urbandale and missing Thursday’s game against Mason City with an ankle injury. He stopped four shots and came through with a big diving save late in the second half to preserve the 2-0 advantage.

Miller faced just one shot in the first half and admitted it is tough to stay focused when the ball barely crosses the defensive half of the field.

“You just have to talk to the defense and keep everyone in line. It is tough to keep focused sometimes when the ball is at the other end,” Miller said. “We played amazingly in the first half. In the second half, we collapsed to the center instead of being communicative and shutting them down. We slowed down and stood still too much.”


The first half took longer than usual as both teams dealt with some injuries. The first goal also created a long stoppage after Lovin’s shot past the Roosevelt keeper put a hole in the back of the net. Gomez left the first half with an injury but returned at the start of the second half. Oswaldo Rodriguez missed his second straight match with a knee injury. He hopes to be back in the lineup when the Bobcats take on Class 2A No. 11 Newton on Monday. MHS also plays No. 13 West Des Moines Valley and No. 14 Ames next week. Marshalltown’s Jose Cordova and Roosevelt’s Maximo Fernandes were given yellow cards on the same play in the first half. Eli Devine was issued a yellow card in the second half. The official accidently pulled out a red card when punishing Fernandes for a foul. He apologized to both coaches and said it was supposed to be a yellow card.