Bernard header against Decorah gives Lynx a split at Hudson

Signorin challenges team, players respond

HUDSON — Craig Signorin threw down the gauntlet to his players as they rested and waited for their second match here on Saturday.

It was just a weekend tournament and it’s only the second week of a nearly two-month season, but the Webster City boys’ soccer head coach looked at it as a potential turning point in the campaign.

It could go one of two ways and which way it went was up to the players.

Did they deliver the answer Signorin was looking for? You bet they did.

Following a 2-0 loss to seventh-ranked (Class 2A) Hudson in its opener, WCHS responded with a 1-0 shutout win over a solid Decorah group to head home with a split and a dose of confidence moving forward.

“We talked about how that second game could determine what way our season might go depending on the result of that game,” Signorin said. “They came out and did what they had to do to get the victory. I’m proud of the way they played.”

WCHS (2-2) seized the upper-hand on Decorah in the 38th minute on a run that brought a smile to Signorin’s face. Javier Mora played what the coach referred to as a perfectly weighted pass to Henry Rodriguez, who then penetrated all the way to the end line and sent in a pass perfectly to the head of Isaac Bernard in the box. Bernard, who was marked tightly, used his size to get to the ball first and head it past the goalkeeper into the back of the net.

“It was one of the prettiest build ups that led to a goal that I can remember in some time,” Signorin said.

WCHS had four shots on frame to three for Decorah. Lynx goalkeeper Carsen Johnson was there to stop all three shots.

Hudson, which went on to win its own tournament, received a pair of goals from Alec Staebell in its win over WCHS. Staebell knocked in a penalty kick in the 53rd minute for the winner and then added another goal five minutes later.

“I feel like the (penalty kick) was soft and shouldn’t have been a foul,” Signorin said. “His second goal was great and he was by far the best player on the field.”

Still, Signorin couldn’t fault his team’s effort against the highly-ranked Pirates.

“I thought we played extremely solid and right with them,” he said. “They really couldn’t get through and break our back line.”

WCHS put just two shots on frame in the match. Johnson came up with six saves in the match.

The Lynx will be back in action today at Humboldt. The varsity match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.