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Unfinished business

Marshalltown vs. Urbandale suspended in overtime; outcome undecided

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown juniors Brandon Ordaz, left, and Ronaldo Ordaz, right, mob senior Tony Angel, middle, after he scores the equalizing goal in the Bobcats’ game against CIML Iowa Conference opponent Urbandale on Tuesday at Leonard Cole Field.

The second overtime period in Tuesday’s game between the Marshalltown boys soccer team and CIML Iowa Conference foe Urbandale was set to kick off, with the Bobcats and J-Hawks both looking to end a 1-1 tie.

Right before the whistle to start the final 10 minutes before going into penalty kicks, however, Mother Nature decided to send a large storm system into Marshalltown, bringing with it a good amount of lightning and some confusion of the fate for this close conference game.

After deciding to wait the lightning out for 30 minutes, the officials realized the storms weren’t stopping any time soon and so the game was suspended at a 1-1 tie.

The game will remain a tie for the moment, with the Bobcats maintaining a 4-3 record, 2-0 in CIML Iowa play, and the J-Hawks maintaining a 6-5 record, 1-0 in conference play. If both teams keep their undefeated conference record by the end of the season, then the game will resume at a later date, picking up in the second overtime still tied at one.

Marshalltown head coach Chris Fuchsen said it’s inconvenient his guys didn’t get to finish out the game, considering they held all the momentum.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown senior Franky Ramirez, right, and Urbandale’s Edward Idehen both take a swing at the ball in the Bobcat’s CIML Iowa Conference game against the J-Hawks at home on Tuesday at Leonard Cole Field.

“Urbandale was definitely on the ropes and boy, it was close, we were right there,” he said.

The J-Hawks actually scored first in the match on a header scored by Alan Imamovic in the 35th minute. Other than that goal though, the Urbandale offense struggled to get anything going against the stifling Bobcat defense, managing just 11 total shots in regulation and the first overtime.

“The boys were solid defensively, unfortunate for that bit of marking on the corner kick but it is what it is,” Fuchsen said.

Like the loss to Ottumwa on Monday in penalty kicks, MHS had no trouble getting the ball down in a position to score, it just couldn’t find its mark when it came to shots. The Bobcats finished the first overtime period with 24 total shots, but only six on goal.

Tony Angel had four of those shots, and he worked hard to get even more but was turned back by the J-Hawk defenders until finally in the 54th minute he found his mark and scored the equalizer for Marshalltown.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown sophomore Rene Hernandez, right, heads the ball during the Bobcats’ game with CIML Iowa Conference opponent Urbandale on Tuesday at Leonard Cole Field.

“He works so hard up there and does such a good job of being creative for us,” Fuchsen said of Angel. “He is so unpredictable and that really troubles defenses, if we can just get that final bit of execution this team is set up to have a special year.”

Another factor that led to that goal was a shift Fuchsen made at halftime, electing to take Ricky Ibarra out of goal and put him in the midfield while sending Jesus Munoz back to defend between the posts.

The change worked out, as Ibarra and sophomore Austin Shomo — who was placed in the midfield as well instead of his usual spot on defense — were challenging for every ball that was anywhere near their vicinity.

“He and Shomo in there were destroying anything that was building up and they were playing real direct in that second half and the overtime periods,” Fuchsen said.

Midway through the season, the Bobcats actually changed their total philosophy, electing to play five in the midfield and leaving just three back as defenders. Fuchsen said that has worked out so far because sophomore Kabba Pins and seniors Franky Ramirez and Luis Ibarra have done a great job making it feel like there are still four defenders playing.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“Franky and Kaba and [Luis] back there are just solid, so we are taking those necessary steps and now we just have to put the ball in the back of the net, which is the toughest thing to do,” Fuchsen said.

In the last two games the Bobcats have played 190 total minutes, so Fuchsen said his guys are understandably exhausted.

“It’s fortunate that we have until Saturday in the tournament to be able to recover and regroup, but there are a lot of positives these guys can take out of the last two nights,” he said. “We just have to maintain our focus and keep playing our style, and now we have to put the ball in the back of the net, we’ve got to finish.”

Marshalltown returns to the pitch on Saturday when it travels to Nevada for a tournament, starting at 9 a.m.