Missed chances, defensive gaff lead to Lynx loss
WEBSTER CITY — One fluke mishap, that’s all it was. A momentary lapse, an unlucky deflection, no more than two seconds in a match of 4,800 seconds, that’s all it took to undo all of the good that had transpired.
And in the end, it decided the match.
The Webster City boys’ soccer team dominated possession and, really, nearly the entire match against Iowa Falls-Alden Friday evening at Lynx Field. But a defensive gaff in the 38th minute resulted in an own goal and too many missed opportunities at the other end of the pitch allowed the Cadets to somehow prevail, 1-0.
The two teams both put nine shots on frame, but WCHS (8-6) had six more attempts, 17-11. The Lynx also had 10 opportunities on corner kicks compared to just two for IF-A (9-5).
The first half — the 40-minute period that saw the Cadets take the lead — was even more lopsided in the Lynx favor. WCHS owned an 11-5 shots edge, including 8-4 on target, and it took all six corners.
It all had WCHS head coach Craig Signorin scratching his head afterwards.
“It’s embarrassing to lose like that and that has nothing to do with the effort, the energy we played with or how we played,” he said. “In soccer you can dominate and lose. It’s hard to swallow, but that’s the way it happens.”
The lone goal was a tough pill to swallow, but the chances — the many, many … many chances — WCHS had to penetrate the scoreboard were even more frustrating.
Jorge Alvayero peppered IF-A goalkeeper Henry Cruz with one rocket after another in the first half, but the Cadet senior was up to the challenge. He slapped away a line shot in the 12th minute and later made a diving stop on a Alvayero free kick from just outside the 18-yard box. Alvayero had another look in the 30th that bounced off the right post.
And then disaster struck.
Following a push near midfield in the 38th, IF-A earned a free kick, a towering shot that came down just inside the 18. WCHS goalkeeper Carsen Johnson left his line to try to intercept the ball, but got to it too late. Lynx defender Michael Gilbert and the Cadets’ Brody Steinfeldt both soared after the ball and Gilbert got to it first. The ball ricocheted off his head, bounced twice and landed in the net.
“Gilbert said he got bodied, but that’s going to happen, and Carsen should not be coming all the way out to the 18,” Signorin said. “Carsen admitted to the mistake, he owned up to it.”
WCHS lost some steam after the mishap and only put one more shot on frame over the final 42 minutes.
Still, there were chances to even the match.
Isaac Bernard’s header off a set piece in the 70th floated just over the crossbar. A near-perfect free kick from Will Tasler over the Cadet defense in the box reached Matt Perin on the back post in the 75th, but Perin was unable to cash in. And 21⁄2 minutes later a scramble in the box ended with the ball on Alvayero’s foot with a free look at the net from 5 yards out, but his boot sailed high.
“It just comes down to technique,” Signorin said. “They look like they’re almost paralyzed when they get in front of goal, like they don’t know what to do. And we always say the easiest thing is to put it on frame with the head, but some of them want to swing away with the leg. It’s all about making contact.”
IF-A, who is 2-0 against the Lynx this season, played without leading scorer Jaden Penning, who has 13 goals.
The two teams will meet again in a Class 2A Substate 2 quarterfinal on Monday, May 20, in Iowa Falls at 6:30 p.m. The winner will advance to a semifinal date with fifth-ranked Gilbert on the Tigers’ home turf two nights later.
Iowa Falls-Alden 1, Webster City 0
Friday at Webster City
IF-Alden 1 0 — 1
Webster City 0 0 — 0
Goals — IF-A: Own goal 38th minute. Shots — IF-A 11, WC 17. Shots on goal — IF-A 9, WC 9. Saves — IF-A 9 (Henry Cruz), WC 8 (Carsen Johnson). Corner kicks — IF-A 2, WC 10. Yellow card — WC: Michael Gilbert 44th minute.