FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison girls soccer team moved to 1-1 on the year after knocking off previously unbeaten Mt. Pleasant 2-1 Monday on a cold pitch at Baxter Sports Complex.
Senior Taylor Shannan scored both goals for the Bloodhounds. The first came with 11:20 left in the first half. Mt. Pleasant had scored on goal at the 12:32 mark in the north end that went off the top of keeper Josie Pumphrey’s hands and into the back of the net.
On the free kick, the Hounds’ sophomore Sarah Bernhardt lifted the ball over the Panther defenders and the speedy Shannan caught up to it down the center of the field and slipped it into the right side of the net.
The game went into the break at 1-1 and both defenses came out sharp in the second half with most of the shots coming from outside the box. In one sequence in the latter half of the second period, the Panthers had the ball in the box against Fort Madison for several minutes with Pumphrey knocking away several shots before the Bloodhound defenders were able to clear the ball.
Pumphrey engaged the Mt. Pleasant offense most of the night sometimes coming out as far 15-20 yards to ward off breaks by the Panthers.
“Josie Pumphrey played a great game again. She had to come out of goal often to intercept a lot of deep balls by Mt. Pleasant,” said Head Coach Sebastian Seifert. “It’s called a sweeper keeper where she gets actively involved. It’s kind of risky, but it paid off today.”
Pumphrey said she was getting a feel for where the Hounds defense was at when Mt. Pleasant was pressuring the goal and made decisions to advance or hold.
“If I see the defense was struggling to get back in time that’s when I was like – I need to get out and clear the ball – that way they don’t get a hold of it and get closer and closer to the goal,” she said.
In the second half, with just under three minutes remaining in the game, Shannan was able to catch up to a long pass down the right center heading north from Kaeli Hutson and outmaneuvered a one-on-one shooting the ball past Mt. Pleasant’s goaltender into the left side of the net with 2:42 left in the game.
The Bloodhounds were able to keep the Panthers out of position the rest of the way for the win.
Shannan said she didn’t think the Hounds had much going offensively, but did get some long balls to free her up.
“Offensively we didn’t have that much going on we were just getting some long balls going.” she said.
Both Pumphrey and Shannan said the win sends a message that Fort Madison can compete for the conference title.
“I think conference is going to be reachable,” Shannon said. ” They’ve beat everyone else, Fairfield, Keokuk, Washington. It says something that we got this win.”
Seifert said the cold temps didn’t have much impact on the game
“I don’t know that it did, both teams had to deal with it. That’s all we’ve had all season so we’re used to it,” he said.
“We tried to press a lot against them because we knew they were undefeated in the conference. We tried to press them high and get a quick turnover and get a goal. This means a lot to get a win on our first game at home.”
The team voted Shannan Hounds Player of the Game and the girls take on Iowa City Liberty at home on Thursday.
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