Bernard, Neuroth lead Lynx rout of Ballard
HUXLEY — Maybe all Webster City needed was its coach back.
After missing last week’s season opener because of the flu, Craig Signorin was back on the sideline for the Lynx last night, and while he didn’t create any of the runs or rifle in any of the goals, his presence was certainly felt.
And just like that, WCHS was able to put that 4-0 loss to Gilbert seven days earlier in the rearview mirror.
Isaac Bernard scored two goals and added an assist, Carter Neuroth found the back of the net twice more, and Drake Doolittle joined the fun in his first match of the season, as they all helped propel the Lynx to a 5-0 rout of Ballard at Richard Strouse Field.
“After getting beat 4-0, it hurts a lot, but we played a lot better as a team,” Bernard said afterwards. “Having Coach here (last night) really hyped us up and it was just great.”
Signorin was happy to see his players able to celebrate, but what pleased him more was a second half in which WCHS (1-1) ripped off four goals in a 15-minute span to put the Bombers away. The Lynx dictated tempo and controlled possession throughout the first half, but had to settle for a single goal.
That all changed once WCHS put solid runs together, Signorin said.
“The confidence came out in us (in the second half),” he said. “I wasn’t real pleased with the first half, but in the second half I thought we controlled it a lot better. We saw we can actually keep the ball when we want to and that let us do what we’re supposed to be doing.
“The goal going into it was energy. The energy brings great effort and effort creates good goal opportunities.”
Playing with or against the wind, it didn’t matter. WCHS out-shot Ballard (1-1) 17-9, including 11-2 on frame.
Bernard gave the Lynx the only goal they’d need in the 19th minute off a throw-in assist from Will Tasler that he headed past Bombers’ goalkeeper Maverick Davies. Bernard owned a size advantage in the box that led to multiple scoring opportunities off set pieces.
“We always want me in front of the goalie because I’m a tall guy,” Bernard said. “Having me in front is going to help us a lot when we have those throw-ins.”
Another set piece led to a 2-0 WCHS lead in the 59th minute, and essentially quieted the Bombers for good. Tasler threw it into the box at Bernard’s head once again, and Bernard popped it over to Carter Neuroth on the near post for a quick-strike goal.
And Neuroth was just getting started.
The junior made it 3-0 in the 67th off another Tasler assist, this time a free kick from near midfield that followed a foul on Doolittle. Davies came out of Ballard’s net in an attempt to intercept the high boot, but Neuroth won the battle for the ball and slammed it into the open net.
Doolittle, who joined the team late and didn’t play in last week’s match against Gilbert, scored an unassisted goal in the 69th. His energy up top was noticeable throughout the bout.
“Drake’s a born leader and he knows his place,” Signorin said. “He’s been finishing really well in practice and that’s why I wanted him on the outside.”
Bernard added the gravy in the 74th minute when he found himself in the open well outside the 18-yard box on the right side of the pitch. He pivoted quickly and sent a rocket towards the goal. The ball curved across the goal, over the outstretched arms of Davies, and found a home in the upper 90 on the left.
“I would say it was a lucky shot, I’ll admit, but my goal was to put it on the mark,” Bernard said. “I wasn’t expecting it to hit the upper 90, so I was pretty ecstatic about that.”
Signorin says Bernard’s talent is born out of his inquisitive nature.
“He’s always been a sponge,” Signorin said. “He’s always asking questions about the correct runs and that’s what makes him a good player.”
Carsen Johnson collected a pair of second-half saves in net for the Lynx.
WCHS will head to Hudson for a tournament Saturday morning.
Webster City 5, Ballard 0
Thursday at Huxley
Webster City 1 4 — 5
Ballard 0 0 — 0
Goals — WC: Isaac Bernard (Will Tasler assist) 18th minute, Carter Neuroth (Bernard assist) 59th minute, Neuroth (Tasler assist) 67th minute, Drake Doolittle (unassisted) 69th minute, Bernard (unassisted) 74th minute. Shots — WC 17, BAL 9. Shots on goal — WC 11, BAL 2. Saves — WC 2 (Carsen Johnson), BAL 6 (Maverick Davies). Corner kicks — WC 2, BAL 1. Yellow Card — WC: Javier Mora.