FM girls earn weekend off with Thursday win

Fort Madison's Alaina Simpson closes on a ball between a couple of Keokuk defenders earlier this month. The Hounds are 6-1 in Southeast Conference play after downing Washington 1-0 Thursday night. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

James scores on assist from Snaadt to secure 1-0 win over Washington

BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
PCC SPORTS

FORT MADISON – Fort Madison’s girls soccer team earned a Friday off.
With prom coming up this weekend, that’s a big deal.
The Bloodhounds have had a busy week, wrapping it up with a 1-0 win over Washington on Thursday night at the Baxter Sports Complex.
Fort Madison (7-2 overall, 6-1 Southeast Conference) won its third match of the week and extended its winning streak to four matches.
A deal’s a deal.
“They kept asking me, ‘Are we going to have practice Friday?’ and I was like, ‘Why wouldn’t we have practice on Friday?’ coach Carrie Burken said. “They were, like, ‘We’re all getting ready for prom this weekend.’ And I was like, ‘Listen, here’s the deal — if you win on Thursday, we won’t have practice on Friday.’ 
“Yep, so that’s their reward. We’ve played three games this week, so one day off won’t hurt them.”
The two teams were scoreless at halftime, but Burken had already burned through her halftime speech before the match started.
The Bloodhounds have been notoriously slow starters this season — they fell behind 1-0 in Tuesday’s match at Central Lee before rallying with two second-half goals.
The message worked.
“(Assistant coach Kent Bailey) told me that I needed to have our halftime speech before the game today, so we would play better in the first half. So that’s what I did,” Burken said. “I say the same thing every time, and I’ll say it again. It was more of just communicating, connecting passes, and we did a much better job right away of communicating, and communicating positively. It was a lot more positive this game.”
Fort Madison’s lone goal came when Coree James scored off a cross from Teagan Snaadt.
That, too, was part of the plan.
“We talked about the cross passes, and that’s what got us our goal,” Burken said.
The Bloodhounds never let the Demons (7-4, 3-4) challenge on offense.
“Just mentally, if you’re not giving up goals, that’s a huge thing,” Burken said. “If you know you’re not playing from behind, that just gives you a lot of confidence, and it gives us a lot of confidence as a team.”
Fort Madison plays at Keokuk (3-7, 1-5) on Monday before playing host to Burlington next Thursday for the conference lead.
A long weekend, with prom, is a good reward.

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