Bowen scores twice as Hounds get four in first half, and four in second
BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – The first four goals came quickly for Fort Madison’s boys soccer team.
It took a long time to get the last four.
The Bloodhounds advanced in the Class 2A substate tournament, taking an 8-0 win over Mount Pleasant on Thursday night at the Baxter Sports Complex.
Fort Madison (13-5) will play host to Washington (12-4) in Monday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal.
“Good work from everybody tonight,” Fort Madison coach Kevin Wellman said. “Every single individual was doing good things tonight, and it showed. We did all right.”
The Bloodhounds scored four goals in the first 10:16 of the match. Nathen Bowen had two goals, and Jacob Shottenkirk and Dayton Davis scored one, as Fort Madison took control.
But the Bloodhounds wouldn’t score again until 13 minutes into the second half, as Mount Pleasant packed the area in front of the net.
“They had a lot of guys back, really defending hard,” Wellman said. “And it made it really, really difficult for us. They were keeping us out of the net. It’s tough when they have a lot of guys back like that.”
But the Bloodhounds eventually cracked the Panthers’ defense in the second half. Mitchell Pothitakis scored with 26:56 to play, then added a goal off a penalty kick 95 seconds later to put Fort Madison up 6-0. Nathaniel Swigert scored on a header off a corner kick, then Pothitakis added his final goal with 19:46 to play.
“I think there was some mental fatigue by Mount Pleasant there,” Wellman said. “We were able to find some holes there and were able to finish.”
Now the Bloodhounds get Washington, a team they defeated twice this season. Both matches were close — Fort Madison won 2-1 at home and 3-1 at Washington.
“Washington is going to be tough,” Wellman said. “When we went up there then, they were really playing hard. They were trying to share that conference championship with us. I can only imagine it’s going to be even more here. They’re going to come to play, and we’ve got to be ready to go at the first whistle.
“Every time you beat a team, it starts to become more difficult. You lose focus, and then the other team gains focus. Luckily, this group of boys, they’re really smart players. They usually don’t lose focus much.”