Southeast Polk pitches ’Cats a shutout
From the start of the spring, Marshalltown boys’ soccer head coach Chris Fuchsen said the 2017 campaign would be a season of development. With that, growing and learning pains were going to present themselves as the season wore on. It would be the Bobcats’ work rate and quality in execution that kept the team in matches.
Southeast Polk won Friday’s night match 3-0 at Leonard Cole Field, notching three first-half goals in the span of just a little more than seven minutes, but Marshalltown took a “never say die” attitude into the second half that gave the Bobcats chances to get back in the match.
“It’s another learning experience,” Fuchsen said. “It’s a chance to come out here and learn every time. (Southeast Polk) is a well-organized team. Disciplined. Very direct. The ball bounced their way. Three (one on ones), and they finished them.”
Up until Friday’s three-goal difference, the last seven meetings between Southeast Polk and Marshalltown had each been decided by one goal, with the final scores either being 2-1 or 1-0. Marshalltown had won four of the meetings, while Southeast Polk took three of them.
Southeast Polk’s Jaeger Erickson scored in the 15th, 20th and 22nd minutes to collect a hat trick for the Rams (8-2), and that’s all SEP would need. The Rams and Bobcats (2-5) would play as evenly as possible the rest of the way.
Chum Ling’s shot from about 16 yards out in the initial stages of the match that resulted in a squared up save by Ram goalkeeper Lucas Harris was the best look Marshalltown had in the opening half. There were other opportunities, but the shots sailed wide or over the goal.
The Bobcats turned up the intensity right when the second half got started. Austin Shomo got a good look just inside the goalbox in the 41st. Julio Gonzalez’s shot in the 42nd grazed off the top part of the crossbar of the goal, and Luis Ibarra fired a shot in the 47th that Harris had to punch away to avoid being scored on, and resulted in the Bobcats getting a corner kick. While the scoring opportunities in the latter parts of the second half didn’t happen as often as they did at the beginning of the half, the Bobcats controlled the ball and the tempo of the match for most of the half.
“It’s the fight. It’s the Marshalltown in us,” Fuchsen said. “We’re always going to have our back against the wall. It’s whether to take it, or are you going to fight? That’s what it’s all about. It’s to save face, come out with pride and battle. Give yourself a chance. You got to pick yourself up, dust it off and continue to battle.”
Marshalltown had five corner kicks to Southeast Polk’s none. Marshalltown goalkeeper Alec Reynolds finished the night with four goals on seven shots on goal faced.
The Bobcats continue a homestand Tuesday, hosting Fort Dodge. The Dodgers (3-5) are on a three-match skid, having scored just one goal in their last three competitions. Fuchsen said moving forward, it’ll take a team effort to get back on the winning track.
“Keep working for each other,” Fuchsen said. “That’s the biggest thing. It’s easy to go down 3-0 in the first half, heads go down and for bickering to set in. Then you have a team collapse. That’s not what we’re going to do. Stay positive with each other, and continue to grind. Continue to fight. The learning pains will come and go. You suffer through it. Hopefully at the end of the season, we’ve learned and grown. Come postseason, we’re able to play and be successful.”
Southeast Polk 3,
SEP — Jaeger Erickson, 14:27
SEP — Erickson, 19:21
SEP — Erickson, 21:58
Goalkeepers — SEP: Lucas Harris (4 shots on goal, 4 saves); MHS: Alec Reynolds (7-4).
Shots — SEP 10, MHS 7
Shots on goal — SEP 7, MHS 4
Fouls — SEP 20, MHS 13
Corner kicks — SEP 0, MHS 5
Yellow Cards — Bench, MHS, 89:08; Chum Ling, MHS, 89:24.