Complete effort carries Lynx past GHV

WEBSTER CITY – Jenna Arbaugh made the kick – and what a sweet kick it was – but she was the last person inside the stadium to celebrate.

Why the delay? Arbaugh was too busy picking herself up off the turf and, besides, she didn’t think her shot had a prayer of finding the net.

“Was that me?” Arbaugh yelled excitedly to teammate Sarah Vogelbacher as she trotted towards the goal less than six minutes into Webster City’s 3-0 victory over Garner-Hayfield/Ventura Tuesday evening at Lynx Field.

It sure was, Jenna.

Arbaugh’s unorthodox goal – it came from just inside the penalty box on the far right side as she was being hounded and eventually tackled by the Cardinals’ Megan Eastman, but it somehow bounced past GHV goalkeeper Morgan Westendorf and trickled just inside the left post – was the start of a dominant first half for WCHS (6-6), which avenged a 3-2 loss to GHV back on April 14 in Garner.

“I thought it was a soft kick and I didn’t think it went in,” Arbaugh said. “But the next thing I know everyone was cheering and I didn’t even know it was mine.”

Arbaugh scored a pair of goals before the match was even eight minutes old and fellow forward Sarah Vogelbacher provided a goal and assist in the first half.

The quick strikes were a welcome sight for the Lynx, who were motivated to rebound following an 82-minute battle that ended in a 1-0 loss to Iowa Falls-Alden last Friday.

“It’s a lot better feeling scoring early to get in the game,” Arbaugh said.

GHV (5-6) took seven more shots than WCHS, 20-13, but the Lynx were more accurate. They held an 8-5 edge on frame and goalkeeper Maia Jaycox was only tested twice en route to five saves and the shutout.

“We’ve improved a lot and we’re playing so much better now,” WCHS head coach Paul Baedke said. “(The players) are starting to come together and starting to click.”

Vogelbacher set up Arbaugh’s second goal just 1:51 after the initial score. Vogelbacher was able to jump in front of a goal kick and take the ball into the box; she laid it off to a wide open Arbaugh on the right and she blasted it past Westendorf in the lower left-hand corner.

“I really like playing with Sarah (up top),” Arbaugh said after upping her goals total on the season to five. “From the first time that we played up there, we just really clicked and have kept going from there.”

Vogelbacher’s 14th goal of the spring upped the cushion to three goals in the 23rd minute. She was able to outrun a pair of GHV defenders to the ball and the result was a rifled shot into the upper 90 on the right.

GHV attempted to up the pressure in the second half, but Lynx midfielders Kennedy Daniels, Hannah Williams and Brianna Luke made it difficult for the Cardinals to put any significant runs together. Sweeper Kaitlyn Wagner took care of almost everything that came towards the net.

“Since moving Jenna up top, I’ve committed one more player to defense, so we’ve got five back there and they work well together,” Baedke said. “The midfielders are the ones that are really getting the workouts, so to see those three get back on defense and then get back up is great to see.”

GHV got off 11 shots over the final 40 minutes, but 10 of them came from outside the 18-yard box.

Stuck in a pattern where it hasn’t won or lost back-to-back matches since late April – a span of six outings – WCHS will try to string together consecutive wins this evening when it hosts Boone at 5:30 p.m. The Lynx will close out the regular season on Monday with a home match against Clear Lake.

“I’m pretty confident that we can win these next couple of games to get over that .500 mark and end with a positive season,” Arbaugh said.