North scores with just over five minutes left in 1-0 win
BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – Fort Madison’s girls soccer team gets some time to prepare for the postseason.
The Bloodhounds finished a long, hot week with a 1-0 loss to Davenport North on Thursday at the Baxter Sports Complex.
The loss in the regular-season finale snapped Fort Madison’s eight-match winning streak.
Now it’s on to the postseason for the Bloodhounds (11-3), who play host to Keokuk in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal on May 20.
It had been a busy week for Fort Madison, which defeated Mount Pleasant in double overtime on Monday and then shut out Mediapolis on Tuesday. That’s a lot of soccer on a week when temperatures were in the 90s.
“It showed,” Fort Madison coach Carrie Burken said. “But fortunately we have a whole week to prepare for the next game, which is good.”
Playing North (4-9) was a good lesson for the Bloodhounds who, if they win their first game of the postseason, would get Clear Creek Amana in the semifinals and a possible matchup with fifth-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier in the regional final.
“The No. 1 thing that our girls talked about at halftime was, ‘Wow, they’re really good at connecting passes,’” Burken said. “I’m like, ‘That’s how it is when you play against the bigger schools.’ I hope they saw that we can connect passes, we can do similar things.
“Three games in this heat in one week is tough. But, honestly, I thought we played really, really well. I thought we connected passes well. Our defense played really well.”
The lone goal came with 5:33 remaining in the match, when North’s Sophia Allardyce was able to get a shot past Fort Madison keeper Taylor Johnson. Johnson hadn’t surrendered a goal since midway through the second half of the win over Mount Pleasant.
“Taylor did a really good job,” Burken said. “Honestly, that’s just tough to be in that position on that goal. I know she’s mad at herself, but she played really well.”
Fort Madison’s best chance to score came in the final seconds of the first half, when Natalie Randolph’s shot was stopped by North keeper Emma Jouran.
“Their keeper made a great play there,” Burken said. “If she doesn’t hold on to the ball, we had people in position for the rebound.”
The Bloodhounds will get Friday off, then start preparing on Monday for the postseason.
“They need time to heal and recover,” Burken said. “Next week, it’s about improving on the things we need to work on — connecting on passes, getting quick touches. Because against better teams, you have to move the ball more quickly. Otherwise, they’ll pounce on it.
“The competition we see day in and day out isn’t like we’re going to see from the bigger schools. So we have to be ready.”