Lethargic Lynx no match for No. 9 Cadets
IOWA FALLS — Sometimes blunt conversations are needed and for the Webster City boys’ soccer team that came at halftime as the sun began to dip Friday night.
Craig Signorin wasn’t happy and despite a better effort in the second half, the mood of the Lynx head coach hadn’t changed much after he finished his postgame huddle with his players.
Effort and attitude: Both were lacking in Signorin’s opinion after WCHS was rocked by ninth-ranked (Class 2A) Iowa Falls-Alden, 5-0, at Cadet Field.
The outcome wasn’t an anomaly — ultra-talented Iowa Falls-Alden (3-0) has now outscored its foes 20-1 this spring — but as Signorin saw it, the loss itself wasn’t most frustrating.
How the Lynx lost, now that’s a different story.
“It was absolutely ridiculous,” Signorin said bluntly. “We talk about doing our best to compete because we know how good (the Cadets) are this year and we come out absolutely soft, scared and just totally away from the game plan.
“Size, speed, strength, talent, athleticism, they have us in about every category. But it still doesn’t mean that we can’t compete and we can’t make it a game. We just didn’t give ourselves a chance to do that in the first half.”
WCHS (2-6) was without the services of midfielder and leading scorer Jorge Alvayero, but whether his play would have dramatically shifted the match landscape is unknown. IF-A dominated control and spent all but a handful of the 80 minutes on the Lynx side of the field.
The Cadets scored just 45 seconds after the ball was put in play off a free kick that lobbed over the Lynx wall and bounced in front of the net. Nathan Widmann was able to get to the ball before WCHS goalkeeper Ashton High and he was able to punch it into the net.
And that was just the beginning.
By the time the first half ended, IF-A held a 4-0 advantage and Cadets’ senior forward Marcos Vila, a foreign exchange student from Spain, had plenty of material for a highlight reel.
Vila had complete control of a back on its heels WCHS defense and the result was a hat trick prior to the intermission. He blasted in a free kick from straight on just outside of the box in the 11th minute to make it 2-0 and he was just getting started.
With less than two minutes left in the first half, Villa positioned himself in front of the net, took a feed from Logan Steelman and bounced a shot off the crossbar. It just snuck into the goal for a 3-0 lead.
The half ended with Vila rifling a penalty kick past High following a foul in the box with under a minute remaining.
High did what he could to keep the score respectable. He made a pair of diving saves and a nice kick save as the Cadets sliced and diced the Lynx defense.
“We left Ashton out to dry,” Signorin said. “I don’t know how you do that to a teammate. It was frustrating to watch. We were standing with five guys on defense, they were attacking with three, but just because we had all these purples (jerseys) around we think we’re guarding somebody and that’s not how soccer works.”
High, a four-year starter in net, injured his back in the waning moments of the first half and didn’t return to the pitch after the break. Nathan Reed took over and made six saves over the final 40 minutes.
“I’ve been wanting to get Nathan some time because he’s a solid keeper and he works hard,” Signorin said. “He did a great job.”
The Cadets only goal of the second half came in the 75th minute, again off the right foot of Vila. It was his 12th goal of the season — he’s had three or more goals in each match — and moved him up to sixth in the state despite playing significantly fewer matches at this point in the season than the state’s other leaders.
IF-A out-shot the Lynx 15-1 in the first half and 27-1 in the match. The lone WCHS shot on frame came courtesy of Tyler Bultena on a free kick from midfield that curved towards the goal in the 34th minute. Cadets’ keeper Logan Ward camped under the ball and caught it easily.
Signorin wasn’t expecting an offensive show from his team. He installed a defensive game plan in attempt to perhaps steal a win late, but a wrench was thrown into those plans early.
“We were playing more defensive and that’s what you have to do in some games if you want to compete,” he said. “A tie in soccer, you can win in PK’s … I’m OK with zero-zero with zero shots. That’s not a loss. It’s not fun to watch, but it’s what you have to do sometimes.”
Iowa Falls-Alden 5, Webster City 0
Friday at Iowa Falls
Iowa Falls-Alden 4 1 — 5
Webster City 0 0 — 0
Goals — IF-A: Nathan Widmann (Logan Steelman assist) 1st minute, Marcos Vila (unassisted) 11th minute, Vila (Steelman assist) 39th minute, Vila (unassisted) 40th minute, Vila (Brayden Penning assist) 75th minute. Shots — WC 1, IF-A 27. Shots on goal — WC 1, IF-A 16. Saves — WC 11 (Nathan Reed 6, Ashton High 5). Corner kicks — WC 1, IF-A 4.