Bobcats bombard Waterloo East with 10-goal tuneup
CEDAR RAPIDS – Amanda Hughes didn’t mind the break.
Because in a few days those opportunities will likely be few and far between.
Needing to stop just one shot for a shutout, Hughes watched as the Marshalltown girls soccer team doubled its highest single-match output with a 10-0 rout over Waterloo East in a Class 3A Region 1 semifinal Friday at Kingston Stadium.
Building upon its 8-0 halftime cushion with two quick scores in the second, the Bobcats finished the job in 42 minutes with the goal differential rule taking effect.
Hughes, who spent much of the afternoon as an onlooker to the offensive clinic, didn’t mind the view.
“It’s nice to have my teammates do all the work and just kind of watch them do their thing,” Hughes said after her light day in goal. “I’m fine if the ball is on the other end of the field.”
Hughes and the Bobcats (10-7) will see action all over the field Monday when they face Class 3A No. 1-ranked Ankeny (18-0) in the Region 1 final at 6 p.m. on the Hawkettes’ home pitch.
“Ankeny will be a lot faster,” MHS coach Allie Osmundson said of the 2012 state-runners up that have outscored their opponents 76-1 this season.
“They’re going to move the ball really quick. We’re going to have to play really, really hard, win all the 50-50 balls and just be aware because Ankeny makes runs and runs and runs.
The Hawkettes’ fleet-footed attack has helped them earn a No. 2 national ranking in Elite Soccer Report’s Spring Top 50 and the full attention of Osmundson.
“They like to possess the ball and try to make teams chase (them),” the Bobcats coach said. “We’re just going to have to be ready to come out and work really hard.”
The Bobcats delivered on that front Friday overcoming any chance of a letdown effort against a winless Trojan squad (0-14) that had scored just two goals on the year.
Morgan Gardalen established the tempo early with a pair of scores less than four minutes in as Marshalltown kept firing on Waterloo East keeper Olivia Webber all evening. The Bobcats racked up 36 shots including 18 on goal as Molly Major, Lexi Vaughn, Ellyn Boland, Tasia King, Rachel Whaley and Emily Rebik also found the back of the net in the opening half.
Megan Major continued the scoring less than a minute into the second half, before Brittany Waldron’s breakaway goal put the game on ice nearly 30 seconds later. Marshalltown kept the ball moving from all angles as eight different players assisted on a goal, including a pair from Molly Major.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the team and the great passes,” Gardalen said of her team’s ball movement setting up her two quick tallies – something they must continue Monday.
“Putting pressure on the defense makes them more opt to making mistakes. If we can do that (against Ankeny), we can get past their defense and get some goals in.”
Monday’s winner qualifies for the Iowa Girls State Soccer Tournament, June 6-8, at James W. Cownie Soccer Park in Des Moines. The Hawkettes defeated Des Moines Lincoln 10-0 in their Region 1 semifinal Wednesday.
While Ankeny’s resume speaks for itself, Osmundson stressed the importance of her squad carrying the same confidence they established Friday.
“Confidence – that’s what it’s going to come down to,” Osmundson said. “We can’t be scared of Ankeny. We just have to come out and play our own game – possess the ball, move the ball fast.
It’s just going to come down to working hard. If we work hard, I think good things will happen.”
Friday’s game was originally scheduled for Wednesday at Cedar Valley Soccer Complex in Cedar Falls, before being pushed back a day due to heavy rainfall. The match was moved to Kingston Stadium and changed to Friday after another day of rain created deteriorating playing conditions in Cedar Falls. … Waterloo East has been shutout 13 times this season and lost by at least a 10-goal differential on 12 occasions. … Ankeny, last year’s Class 3A runner-up, allowed its only goal of the year in a 2-1 victory at Ames… Five of the Bobcats’ seven losses this year have been decided by one goal, while four have come against ranked teams. … Gardalen and Vaughn lead Marshalltown with six goals apiece. Jordyn Rittman (16 goals) and University of Iowa commit Aubree Larson (13 goals) propel the Hawkettes’ attack. Ankeny has seven players already committed to college programs including five at Division I schools.