HTC's Taylor Boeding sets to blast a shot a FMHS keeper Josie Pumphrey. The shot sailed up and right, but the Crusaders got the win 2-1. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – The first half was a dead heat…and as Fort Madison Mayor Brad Randolph said, “some darned good soccer”.
The Fort Madison Bloodhounds and Holy Trinity girls soccer teams clashed in South Park at West Point Thursday night in the battle of crosstown rivals.
The first half just about as split as a game could be with possibly HTC holding a slight advantage on holding possession in their own territory.
Coming into the game the Hounds were 8-5 and had suffered two consecutive losses after winning four in a row. The Crusaders came into the contest 7-3, but two of their losses were to top-ranked Burlington Notre Dame who stands at 15-1 atop the state.
“We haven’t been this close to them,” said FMHS coach Sebastian Seifert after the game. “Historically we start out OK against them, but they’re so dominant and they’ve improved over the years, too.”
The Hounds have done some improving of their own this year, surpassing almost every trackable statistic in the game.
The Crusaders broke open the scoring with about 9 minutes gone in the second half when Nicole Pothitakis slipped one past Josie Pumphrey on her right side.
The game turned back to a back-and-forth with HTC freshman speedster Ashlyn Haas cleaning up most of the Hound penetrations. Haas and Fort Madison’s Taylor Shannan could regularly be seen racing down the east side of the field.
The Crusaders pushed the margin to 2-0 when Elle Rashid blasted one in from short range at the 12-minute mark, but the Hounds took the ball right down the field and Emily Wolf punched one in to cut the lead to one.
The Hounds only managed one other run at the Crusaders on a counterattack with about three minutes left, but an offsides call left the Hounds with nothing to show for the effort.
“It was a counter attack and we had position, but I think we had, like, three girls beat the defender down the field and got called. Taylor and Emily are so fast and we were trying to utilize that to our advantage,” Seifert said.
“Our goal was to make this a tough game for HTC and to keep the score close. We had a lot of possessions and shots on goal during the first half and even the second. Our defense was compact and did not allow too many chances. Everyone on the team stepped up today and went above and beyond to try to win this game, we came up short but I am very proud of the way these girls played.”
The Hounds play Mediapolis at home on Saturday at 9 a.m. Senior night is Monday at 4:30 pm vs. Mount Pleasant.
Holy Trinity put their 8-3 record to the test against 7-5 Keokuk. The Crusaders beat the Chiefs back on April 24, 5-2.
In the boy’s game the Crusaders jumped out to 1-0 lead in the first half, but scored three in the second 30 minutes to put the game away.