ALDEN - It wasn't pretty, but it could have been worse.
Despite rifling off 40 shots - 36 more than its opponent - including 14 on goal, the No. 5-ranked (Class 2A) Webster City boys' soccer team was forced to win the hard way against Iowa Falls-Alden on a bitterly cold Friday evening.
Locked at 1-1 after 100 minutes of action, the Lynx came through in penalty kicks (4-2) to claim a 2-1 victory over the Cadets.
Sam Bowman (8) fends off an Iowa Falls-Alden defender during Friday’s match in Alden. The No. 5-ranked (Class 2A) Lynx prevailed, 2-1, and finished the weekend with a 6-1 record on the season.
"The boys knew I was frustrated and they were frustrated as well," WCHS head coach Craig Signorin said. "We did some very good things, but we just didn't execute completely."
Christian Lemus, Brandon Jessen, Brody Foster and Landon Daniels all found the back of the net with their penalty kicks, and senior goalkeeper Austin Koons came up with two crucial diving stops to send WCHS home with the win.
"Those shots weren't right at Austin. He had to lay out," Signorin said. "I usually tell him to get one save and our kickers will do the rest, and he got two."
IF-A, which lost to the Lynx in a Class 2A substate final last May, got on the scoreboard first in the opening 10 minutes. Signorin said his usually stout defense simply fell asleep for a brief moment.
WCHS regrouped quickly and tied the match at 1 less than five minutes later. Sam Bowman notched his second goal of the season off an assist from Jose Cruz.
But for the next 85 minutes, the Lynx simply came up empty despite numerous chances.
"We just couldn't figure it out," Signorin said. "We had so many good opportunities, but nothing would go in."
Koons finished with three saves.
Lynx win streak stopped, place 2nd at Hudson
HUDSON - Three tight victories early in the day put Webster City in the championship match on Saturday at the Hudson Tournament, but weary legs and a tough Marshalltown squad stopped the Lynx six-match win streak.
Scoreless after regulation and five penalty kicks for each team - the overtime sessions were bypassed - Marshalltown (6-0) finally seized the upper-hand on the sixth PK to claim the 1-0 win in the championship match.
It was the end of a brutal two-day stretch for WCHS (6-1), which spent more than 5 hours on the pitch over the course of five matches. Saturday's matches were trimmed down from the usual 80 minutes to 60, but it was still an exhausting experience.
"Not to make excuses, but to play that much soccer in less than 24 hours, that takes a toll on everybody," Signorin said. "It just put a lot of stress on everybody, and losing hurts, but the effort was absolutely tremendous and I'm proud of all of my guys."
WCHS reached the title bout by beating Garner-Hayfield (1-0), Gladbrook-Reinbeck (2-1) and No. 15-ranked (1A) Postville (1-0) earlier in the day.
Brandon Jessen punched in the lone goal 10 minutes in off an assist from Christian Lemus against Garner-Hayfield.
Trailing 1-0 early against G-R, the Lynx rallied with second-half goals courtesy of Landon Daniels and Lemus. A penalty kick by Lemus midway through the half put the Lynx ahead to stay.
Sam Bowman collected an unassisted goal in the 10th minute against Postville.
The WCHS defense continued to sparkle. In six matches, the unit has allowed just two goals in regulation.
"I'm so proud of the defense," Signorin said. "If we can keep it at zero, we're going to have a great chance to win (matches). And Austin Koons came up absolutely huge for us against Marshalltown."