Short-handed Hawks bow out at West Branch

No. 1 Bears end Central Lee season 7-1 in Class 1A Substate 6 match


WEST BRANCH – The Central Lee Hawks ended their season with a 7-1 loss to West Branch in Class 1A Substate 6 boys' soccer action Monday in West Branch.
The Hawks, who are dinged up with three players off the roster including senior forward Dante Merschman, surrendered three goals in the first half, one just :30 seconds into the match and another 1:15 later.
The third goal was on a penalty kick at the 24:04 mark, but then the Central Lee defense tightened up and held the Bears scoreless until halftime.
The Class 1A No. 1 West Branch offense went back to work in the first 17 minutes of the second half, scoring two more goals for a 5-0 lead.
The Hawks’ Ayden Kent got the only goal for the Central Lee on a breakaway unassisted with 4:16 left to go.
Central Lee keeper Hunter Gregory allowed two more goals. One at the 14:10 mark and the final goal at 3:37. He had nine saves in the match.
Central Lee ends the year at 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the SEI Superconference.
The is the second year in a row that the Hawks have made it to the second round of regional action. Last year they lost to Pella Christian 6-0. In 2022, they barely missed advancing with a 4-3 loss to Albia in the first round of the post-season.
The Hawks were led in goals this year by Landon Crank with eight. He also had 39 shots on goal. Landan Lowenberg and Kent each had five goals on the season and they both had 21 shots on goal.
Gregory played 860 of 866 minutes during the season and had 59 saves in 23 matches.

soccer, Central Lee, boys, regionals, Class 1A, Hawks, West Branch, Bears, sports, Pen City Current, Ayden Kent,


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