On Saturday, the Lions played the Bettendorf Bulldogs at Linn-Mar Stadium for the chance to play in the 2014 Iowa State Soccer Tournament. It was a beautiful, albeit hot, day on the turf, and the Lions came out of the gate with passion, enthusiasm, and vigor, and played a very possession-based offense, and the Bulldogs were given few chance in front of goalkeeper Jared Belin. The Lions managed to score twice on the Bulldogs in the first half, but both were called back due to fouls being called (offsides/handball). The Lions got behind the defense a few other times as well, but the Bettendorf goalkeeper kept them in the game with a clean sheet during the first half.
During the second half, the Lions continued to possess, in fact, statistics show that they passed the ball three times what Bettendorf did during the game, but again neither team was able to score despite chances in front of goal during the second 40 minutes. So it would go to overtime, and in the 4th minute (84th technically), Hunter Wong and Bobby Charlton found Leroy Enzugusi in between defenders and he was able to cut in front of the quickly approaching goalkeeper and score the “Golden Goal” and send the Lions to their 4th State Tournament, their first in 6 years.
The Lions will get a chance to redeem their last loss of the season, as they have been seeded as the #5 team in 3A and will play #4 Iowa City High at 5:10 on Thursday, June 5th. If they can get past the Littlel Hawks, they will guarantee themselves two more games and continue their goal to win Linn-Mar’s 1st State Championship in Soccer (either boys or girls). All games will be played at James Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the regular season came to an end as all three teams finished their seasons with “2-0” wins. The combined records of the three teams was Amazing: 35 wins, 5 losses, 3 ties.
- JV finished Wednesday, vs Washington, remained unbeaten on the season, 12-0
- Coach Lovell’s “Beast of the Match” was Will Dunn
- Fresh-Soph finished Thursday, @ Dubuque Senior, finished 8-2-3
- Coach Schmidt & Anderson’s “Man of the Match” was Mauro Diaz
- Varsity also finished Thursday, @ Dubuque Senior, finished 15-3
- Coach Brinkmeyer’s “Man of the Match” was Dustin Toy
Varsity Match Recap: After coming off a loss, the day before, to Conference Champions City High, the Lions vowed to redeem themselves with a win, heading into next week’s Substate Playoffs. Despite a half-dozen chances in the first half, the ball refused to go in and the scored remained 0-0 at the half. Less than 2 minutes into the second half, however, Brian Allsup received a pass on the left flank from Ben Johnson, and then Leroy Enzugusi, for the games first goal. The Lions continued to generate chances in the second half, possess the ball, and shut down the Senior attack. And eventually, the Linn-Mar attack found Devin Eby running through the Rams defense for the second goal of the game (Assists: Hunter Wong & Noah Ajram). Jared Belin kept another clean sheet in goal, with 3 saves on the night, extending his new season shutout record to 13 solo games, and 14 team shutouts (In case you were wondering, Waterloo West was the only team to score on Belin in a winning effort). Dustin Toy played nearly the entire game and earned Man of the Match honors as the defensive line stood out once again.
Next up will be the winner of Clinton vs Dubuque Hempstead, on Thursday, May 29 @ 6pm, at Linn-Mar Stadium.
On Tuesday, the Lions played host to the City High Little Hawks..that is before the weather changed the plans. The Fresh-Soph started the last home game with a 2-0 win, but just as the Seniors finished their recognition, and we prepared to warmup, Athletic Director Scott Mahmens announced that the stands needed to be cleared and teams needed to go their respective locker rooms. The impending weather delayed the start of the game, and eventually postponed it all together until Wednesday when the 70+ temps were much more receptive to a top 5 matchup.
City High scored in the 30th minute on a free kick that snuck it’s way into the goal. The Lions played well enough defensively to keep the team in the game, but had a hard time getting good looks/shots on goal, tallying just 3 all night. The Lions can’t worry long about the result though as they hit the road Thursday for their final regular season game. Linn-Mar will travel to Dubuque Senior and play the Rams who are also in their Substate. Fresh-Soph will play first at 5:15, Varsity at 7, on the turf at Dalzell Field.
On a high note, the JV team played their final game tonight as well vs Wash and completed a 12-0 season with a 2-0 win. Amazingly, the team gave up just one goal this season, despite the team only having 10 full-time players and using a rotation of Sophomores during their schedule this season.