WEBSTER CITY - Thirty yards out and going forward at a sprint, Ballard senior forward Channing Soat sent a shot screaming towards the net just 5 minutes into yesterday evening's battle on the pitch at Lynx Field.
It was a one-and-10 shot, maybe even one-and-100.
Call it luck, call it skill, call it whatever you want.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City junior defensive back Brody Foster uses his head to win a free ball from Ballard’s Brandon Kane yesterday at Lynx Field. The Bombers scored three first-half goals that stood up in a 3-1 victory over Webster City.
Soat will call it a goal.
But Soat was just getting started, as he banged in three first-half goals to give the Bombers a lead and they went on to claim a 3-1 victory over Webster City in the Lynx season opener.
He finished off his hat trick with 6:30 remaining in the first half on a line-drive crossing shot that banged off the right post and into the net. Soat took the shot with his back partially turned to the goal.
"Those are probably two of the better high school goals I've seen in a long time," WCHS head coach Craig Signorin said. "But we were obviously rusty and it just wasn't there for us (yesterday)."
It was Soat's second goal - easily the most basic of the three - that took the wind out of the Lynx sails. After tying the match at 1, WCHS made one false move on defense and Soat made the hosts pay.
Off a throw-in with 13:20 left in the opening half, Lynx defensive backs Brody Foster and Nick Olmstead both went airborne in an attempt to head the ball out of the zone, but both mistimed their leaps. The ball flew over their heads and directly onto the right foot of Soat in front of the goal, and from there he had no trouble flicking the ball past a diving Adam Wagner - the Lynx goalkeeper who was making his first career start - and inside the lower 90 on the left.
"That (second) goal, there was just no communication," Signorin said. "I'd say that one probably hurt us more than the other two."
WCHS (0-1) finished with 16 shots on goal, but the Lynx were denied time and time again by Ballard senior goalkeeper Connor Perry, who accumulated 10 saves. Perry made three diving stops late in the second half when WCHS was attempting to fight back into contention.
"I wouldn't say we tested (Perry) as much as I would have like, but he was definitely solid back there," Signorin said. "We were down two goals for 40 minutes and we were standing flat-footed like we were up two goals, and that's kind of mind-boggling to me."
Ballard (1-2) got off 15 shots on goal and Wagner came up with five saves. He started in place of veteran keeper Austin Koons, who was forced to sit out while serving a one-match suspension for the red card he received in last season's substate semifinal loss to Spencer.
Senior Jonny Davis scored the Lynx lone goal on the first shot of his career at the 28:07 mark of the first half. He took a pass from Demar Lemus, sprinted down the left flank and used his left foot to send a floater over Perry's head and into the back of the net.
"Not bad for his first high school goal," Signorin said. "It's definitely good to see and I wish we would have exploded off that."
WCHS came up empty on four corner kicks - Ballard never took a corner kick in the 80-minute match - in the second half. The Lynx thought they had pulled to within one goal on their last corner kick with 12:18 remaining, courtesy of a Kirk Greenley header from in front of the net, but the goal was waved off on a pushing call against Lynx senior Garrett Gourley.
Gourley received a yellow card at the 9:25 mark, which forced him to the sideline for the remainder of the match.