BY ETHAN LILLARD
FORT MADISON – For the third time in a four game stretch, the Fort Madison Bloodhounds shut out an opponent and came away with the win, this time taking down Davenport West 3-0 Tuesday.
Midway through the first half, lightening bolts filled the backdrop, forcing both teams from the field and into the friendly indoor confines of Baxter Sport Complex.
Davenport North nearly put the first points on the board in the 16th minute. With the ball inside of the box, Fort Madison goalie Josie Pumphrey came out of the goal to help play defense and attempted to send the ball sailing back to the Bloodhounds’ offensive half of the field. But as Pumphrey kicked the ball, it hit a Davenport defender, lining the Wildcats up for a wide open goal.
Fortunately for the Hounds, the goal sailed wide left and went out of bounds, as both teams went into the half tied at zero.
Less than ten minutes into the second half, Walker found herself with another goal-scoring opportunity. Junior Anna Kester sent a pass into the open field for Brandy Walker, but she was tripped up by a Davenport defender before she was able to attempt the shot.
The ball looked as if it was going to go out of bounds, but playing good off-the-ball offense and following Walker’s shot, Maddy McVey was there for the rebound. McVey then positioned herself perfectly to send the ball past the goalie and into the right corner of the net for the 1-0 lead.
“We were not doing so well in the first half, so I knew we had to pick it up in the second,” McVey said. “I saw Brandy was struggling and she got knocked down.
“I followed the shot because we have trouble doing that. I saw the goalie coming up and I heard her slide so I knew if I went around her I could get a better shot.”
In the 25th minute Sarah Bernhardt sent a high kick over the top of the Davenport defense. It looked like the keeper was going to have an easy stop, but with it just having rained, the goalie slipped on her back.
Alana Simpson didn’t give up on the play despite what looked like an easy save for the keeper, sprinting after the ball and beating the Davenport defense for the wide open goal, the first of her career.
“Alana is a freshman and is one of those sleepers,” Seifert said. “We knew it was just going to be a matter of time waiting on her to score.”
“It was exciting,” Simpson said about giving the Bloodhounds the 2-0 lead on her first career goal.
In the 13th minute, Fort Madison controlled the ball on its offensive half of the field and had possession inside the box. The Hounds nearly had an open shot at the goal, but Davenport stole the ball away.
Bernhardt, who was again playing heads up off-the-ball offense, was in perfect position and stole the ball back. Bernhardt raced past the two Davenport defenders she stole the pass from and sent the ball to the top right corner for the 3-0 win.
“We’ve asked her lately to push up on the wing a little bit and today she had the space to do that and it worked,” Seifert said.
“I’ve been wanting that since the beginning of the season,” Bernhardt said with a grin.
The Bloodhounds move to 8-5 on the season with the win and currently sit at No. 2 in the Southeast Conference. Fort Madison is still in control of its own destiny and a potential share of the conference crown with two more conference games left on the slate.
Fort Madison’s next contest is Thursday against Holy Trinity.