Bobcats blanket ranked Newton
Marshalltown junior Austin Lovin took the pass and did the rest, making a nifty move around a Newton defender and blasting the ball past Cardinal keeper James Leonard.
Lovin’s goal – his fourth of the year – ended up being the game-winner Monday night during Class 3A No. 11 Marshalltown’s 2-0 victory over the Class 2A 11th-ranked Cardinals on Senior Night at Leonard Cole Field.
“Newton is a good team, they are a good team,” MHS coach Creighton Jenness said. “So I am happy with this win. I think we did pretty well possessing the ball.”
The Bobcats dominated much of the play in the win. MHS had a 23-14 advantage in shots, 13-8 advantage in shots on goal and recorded its sixth shutout of the season while improving to 14-1.
“It’s really important,” senior defender Eli Devine said of the keeping the shutout intact. “It gives us momentum in the game. It’s keeping the difference in the game and not letting them get any confidence.”
While the defense was rock solid and goalkeeper Kreighton Miller turned away the Cardinals with some impressive saves late in the match, the offense dominated possession of the ball and scored enough goals to claim the Bobcats’ third straight win.
Lovin’s goal made it 1-0 with 6 minutes to go in the first half. Martin Chavarria scored his Class 3A-best 18th goal of the season 8 minutes into the second stanza to extend the lead.
“It was enough. But it is dangerous,” said Lovin of the 1-0 lead. “It gives the other team some hope. That second goal was very big. If we wouldn’t have gotten that second goal it could have been a tie and headed to overtime. That could have been Urbandale all over again.”
The Urbandale match ended in a 3-2 loss in double overtime. That is still Marshalltown’s lone loss this year.
Newton (7-4) had no such luck Monday as the Bobcats’ defense stood strong, and Miller was superb in the net, stopping all eight of the Cardinals’ shots on goal.
“I believe we are very confident. We are a tight defense,” said Devine, who was one of five seniors on the varsity roster honored before the match. “We know each other and even without communicating we still know what to do and when to switch up. We have full confidence and belief in each other and we know we can hold it up.”
Jenness said his team talked a lot about not surrending a goal when it was 2-0 because that margin in soccer is not very secure.
“We talked a lot about not giving anything up when it’s 2-0 because one goal changes the game,” Jenness said. “If one call goes against us, it puts them back in the game and then they start to believe. It was good that we got the shutout.”
The Bobcats return to the pitch tonight at Valley Stadium when they take on West Des Moines Valley at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers are ranked No. 13 in Class 3A.
“It’s pretty big,” Lovin said of the matchup. “We want to win pretty bad. We don’t play on turf much so we’ll have to adjust and possess the ball a little better and make better passes.”
There were 14 fouls and two yellow cards handed out in the first half. Each team was whistled for seven fouls and the yellow cards were given to Newton’s Tyler Hansen and Marshalltown’s Trevor Fuccio. … Tony Ordaz-Zambrano was credited with the assist on the Chavarria goal. … It was the third time Newton has been shutout this season, also losing 3-0 to Class 3A No. 4 Johnston and 1-0 to Southeast Polk. … Marshalltown had two goals called off because of offsides. “That is good though. That shows we are active and putting shots past the keeper,” Jenness said. … The only time the Bobcats have played on turf this year ended in a 3-2 double overtime loss to Urbandale. MHS also travels to No. 14 Ames on Friday. … The five varsity seniors honored for Senior Night before the match included Devine, Alfonso Gonzalez, Victor Cisneros, Mi Reh and Jacob Heatwold.