Defense sparks No. 13 Lady Hounds

Fort Madison puts up another shutout in win over Washington


FORT MADISON - Fort Madison’s girls soccer team still hasn’t allowed a goal in regulation time, and it helps that the Bloodhounds have some flexibility to make adjustments on defense.
That helped extend the team’s streak in Monday’s 3-0 win over Washington at the Baxter Sports Complex.
Teagan Snaadt, Emma Snaadt and Hadley Wolfe had goals for the 13th-ranked (Class 2A) Bloodhounds (5-1 overall, 3-1 Southeast Conference), who bounced back from last Thursday’s 1-0 loss to Burlington in penalty kicks. The three PK goals by the Grayhounds in that match are the only goals allowed by Fort Madison this season because of a defense that has kept opposing offenses from mounting consistent attacks.
“I think it means we’re very devoted to making sure we have more offensive possessions than other teams do,” said senior Irelynd Sargent, who played the role of sweeper in the second half of Monday’s match to keep the Demons (2-5, 1-3) from getting runs at goalkeeper Taylor Johnson. “I think we’re comfortable, and we’re not allowing as many balls get past us.”
That defense has an effect throughout the Bloodhounds’ lineup, coach Carrie Burken said.
“I think Taylor feels more secure back there,” Burken said. “And obviously having Taylor back there makes everyone feel more secure. And I think (the defense) makes our midfielders and forwards more confident to go score goals — they don’t feel like they have to get one right away, that they have time, to not have the pressure to score a lot of goals.”
Fort Madison led just 1-0 at halftime after Teagan Snaadt’s goal at the 22:47 mark of the first half. The Demons were putting pressure on offensively, so Burken met with the defense at halftime to come up with a different plan.
“It took some communicating with the defense at halftime, like, ‘OK, what do we want to do?’” Burken said “I think the first half we got caught with people just frustrated. There were a lot of things being communicated by a lot of different people, and there wasn’t clear communication.”
One of the changes was to allow Sargent to use her speed and strength to keep the Demons from getting any breakouts.
“Basically it was just to make sure they didn’t get any through balls,” Sargent said.
“She was just playing a little farther back as a sweeper, so when they sent the through balls, she was already back there,” Burken said. “It was just a small adjustment we made. But I think we’ll have to make small adjustments the rest of the way, depending on the team we’re playing.”
Fort Madison then was able to get two second-half goals. Emma Snaadt scored at the 27:48 mark, which took away some of the frustration for her first-half goal that was waved off because of an offsides call.
It was the second goal of the season for the freshman.
“I think what she’s bringing is good movement,” Burken said. “She has very good positioning — she’s in the right place at the right time. She’s getting more comfortable at being more involved in the play, running into the box and being ready to be on the receiving end of crosses.”
Wolfe closed the scoring with a goal into the upper right corner of the net with 11:28 to play.
Halle Menke had two assists and Wolfe had one. Johnson had 12 saves

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