Bobcats exact revenge on Urbandale in opener

Chris Fuchsen wanted his squad to test the Urbandale defense early.

Martin Chavarria and the Bobcats granted that wish.

Chavarria buried a long free kick from just past midfield in the eighth minute and Ellis Buchwald added the game-winner in the 60th as the No. 14 ranked Marshalltown boys’ soccer team trumped the J-Hawks 2-1 in a Central Iowa Conference cross-divisional game at Leonard Cole Field Monday.

Marshalltown (1-0), coming off a 16-3 campaign last season, avenged a 3-2 overtime loss to Urbandale from last spring to send Fuchsen out a victor in his MHS coaching debut.

It all started with Chavarria booming a free kick from near his own team’s bench that sailed over Urbandale goalkeeper Jerry Richards’s outstretched arms and caromed off the far post into the net.

“The first goal was a bit lucky but I told them to test them early and that’s exactly what (Martin) did,” Fuchsen said. “He put it in a spot that was difficult.”

Urbandale (1-3) answered with a difficult shot of its own six minutes later as Carlos Pacheco floated an arcing ball from a nearly identical distance past Kreighton Miller. Miller didn’t let anything else by him the rest of the night and finished with seven saves in the victory.

Marshalltown eventually wore down the J-Hawks’ defense in the second half as Buchwald took a low cross from Oswaldo Rodriguez off a corner kick and flicked it off Richard’s right hand and into the net.

It was only a matter of time as the Bobcats stretched the Urbandale defense with consistent pressure including an 18-12 edge in shots and a 4-0 advantage on corner kicks.

“Our possession really flustered them it got them running, got them tired and got them frustrated,” Fuchsen said.

“The ability to knock the ball in and make the defense chase and run after it definitely gave us a psychological edge. They started getting chippy.”

Urbandale (1-3), playing its fourth game in four days, ultimately lost its cool in the end as Pacheco was written up for a yellow card and then given another as he slowly retreated off the field to leave the J-Hawks a man down for the final two minutes. Urbandale played with a chip on its shoulder from the start and was whistled for nine of its 15 fouls in the first half, while MHS finished with seven.

“They played physical all game and we were able to battle through and create more chances,” Fuchsen said. “Our boys just battled and they earned it.”

While Monday marked Fuchsen’s first game with the clipboard for the Bobcats, his connection with his team was established long ago after coaching many of the same players in club ball.

Buchwald, one of seven upperclassmen starters, said the transition has been seamless – even for the younger players.

“For most of the guys we’ve played club team together and he was our head coach for about six years, so we’re getting along well,” Buchwald said. “And for the new guys that haven’t (played for him), it’s coming along pretty well.”

The Bobcats get a chance to avenge another one of last year’s losses when they host No. 9 Ames (3-0) Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The Little Cyclones won the previous meeting 3-0.

Notebook

Urbandale received votes in the first Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association poll. The J-Hawks’ previous losses came against No. 7 Bettendorf and Southeast Polk. Ames earned a 2-1 victory over No. 13 Cedar Rapids Prairie on Saturday.