Railsplitters rally past Bobcats, 3-1
Just five minutes after halftime in the Marshalltown boys soccer team’s season finale against Des Moines Lincoln on Tuesday at Leonard Cole Field, the Bobcats broke a 0-0 tie with a goal on a penalty kick by Jose Torres.
For nearly the next 15 minutes of gameplay it seemed MHS would run away and hide against the Railsplitters as it kept getting scoring chance after scoring chance, but the Bobcats just couldn’t quite finish and increase their lead.
Lincoln made Marshalltown pay for missing those opportunities with an equalizing goal by Josh Rocha in the 59th minute, then just five minutes later the Railsplitters would take the lead off a goal by Kevin Karambizi in the 64th minute. Lincoln would add one more score by Rocha in the 76th minute and walk away from Marshalltown with a 3-1 victory, spoiling the Bobcats’ senior night.
MHS head coach Chris Fuchsen said this game was just a microcosm of what his team has experienced playing at home, where they finished 0-4.
“It seems to be the epitome of things at home at least, missed opportunities and not being able to finish,” Fuchsen said. “Being able to play and do all the little things except for put the ball in the back of the net and getting that confidence to be able to shut down shop.”
The frustration started to mount for the Bobcats in the first half, as there were multiple opportunities for the guys to get on the board but couldn’t quite finish. Senior Tony Angel had the strongest chance in the first 40 minutes, facing an open goal in the box, but his shot just skirted along the outside of the goal and shot off the opposite post.
Angel led Marshalltown with three shots on goal, while Torres finished with two shots on goal and four total.
Senior Ricky Ibarra got the start in goal and held his own with nine saves, most of which came in the first half, but Fuchsen said it was some late defensive breakdowns that cost him a shutout.
“I think we played well defensively up until the last 20 minutes but whatever it is that’s the game we play,” Fuchsen said. “It’s cruel at times but I still have to say I’m proud of the boys and the way they battled, the way they were able to play and keep working throughout.”
Near the end of the game the Bobcats were still getting scoring chances but even with some deep penetration the boys were having a hard time even getting off shots.
“When the legs get tired we kind of lose our focus at times in the attacking third, trying to do too much and make it too complicated,” Fuchsen said. “That’s part of the game too, being able to manage your mind through adversity and fatigue.”
Javier Santiago finished with six saves for the Rails (9-4) while Refuge Bargblor had seven total shots.
The Bobcats now end the year at 8-6 and have a week off before facing Ames in the first round of the Class 3A Substate 6 tournament next Monday. Fuchsen said unfortunately what has caused this recent three-game skid for this guys isn’t something that can be fixed in a short amount of time.
“There’s not much you can do when you are building the play and creating opportunities,” he said. “The toughest thing in this sport is putting it in the back of the net and that’s what we are really struggling with now. It’s nothing you can manage to fix in a week, that’s something that has to be developed throughout the course of the year.
“If we can just put the ball in the back of the net, our confidence in ourselves is going to skyrocket because we see it, we do all the little things in between, we can build and create combinations in the midfield but now it’s being able to compose yourself and focus on your technique when it comes to being in front of the goal.”
Marshalltown takes on the Little Cyclones on Monday in the opener of the 3A Substate 6 tournament at Urbandale, starting at 4:30 p.m.
Des Moines Lincoln 3, Marshalltown 1
DM Lincoln 0 3 — 3
MHS 0 1 — 1
MHS — Jose Torres (PK) 44:17
DML — Josh Rocha, 58:38
DML — Kevin Karambizi, 63:06
DML — Rocha, 75:04
Goalkeepers — DML: Javier Santiago (8 shots on goal, 6 saves); MHS: Ricky Ibarra (12-9)
Shots — DML 20, MHS 13
Shots on goal — DML 12, MHS 8
Corner kicks — DML 3, MHS 1
Yellow cards — Karambizi, DML, 65:30