Trojans ground Golden Hawks in substate opener
VAN HORNE — Teams like to start a postseason run with a strong statement game, and the South Tama County boys soccer team did just that in their Class 1A Substate 4 opener on Monday night.
The No. 9 Trojans dominated Mid-Prairie from the opening kick until the final score, winning by a 10-0 mercy rule with just under three minutes left in regulation.
STC head boys soccer coach Nate Van Dyke said there wasn’t anything fancy about what his team did on Monday, they just went out there and won.
“Mid-Prairie probably had the same plan as us, to go out there and win the game,” he said. “Any win I would have taken, I would have taken a 2-0 win, but that was pretty impressive out of our guys and fun to watch.”
The scoring got started early when Osmar Galvez put the Trojans (13-5) on the board in the second minute, then Roger Flores followed shortly after in the fourth minute for a 2-0 lead.
“We came out quick and hit a couple of quick goals and you want to keep the pressure on,” Van Dyke said. “You don’t want to let up, if they score one then they feel like they are in the game so keep attacking and keep the pressure on them.”
It wasn’t until the third goal that Jonathan Castrejon — South Tama’s leading goalscorer and the second-best scorer in 1A with 36 goals in the regular season — got on the board, as he found the back of the net in the ninth minute for a 3-0 advantage.
Overall five total players scored in the contest, including a hat trick by Galvez after his walk-off score off a header in the 78th minute, and Van Dyke said that was with second-leading scorer Jeffrey Fuentes playing in the back.
“We put Roger Flores up in his [Fuentes’] and Jesus Chavez has started a bunch as well, so we don’t have much drop off I think,” Van Dyke said. “When we’ve got five or six guys playing that well up front, as long as our defense doesn’t fall asleep it takes a lot of pressure off of them and opens up a lot of opportunities.”
The defense wasn’t challenged often, and when they were the back line featuring Fuentes, Andrew Laybon and Fabian Padilla snuffed out any look the Golden Hawks (9-4) had.
“As a team we can control it in the middle, we control it in the back, we control it everywhere,” Laybon said. “We just handled that team, we are obviously doing something right.”
With the support of his teammates and a 3-0 lead, Castrejon was able to let loose and really take over the game. He would go on to score three more goals — one more in the first half and two in the second — and he added two assists.
“When he has the ball we know he is going to hustle and we are going to make a play right there when he’s got it,” Laybon said of Castrejon. “He uses everybody to his advances, he passes it to Jorge [Davila], he passes it to whoever, and he makes it work every single time.”
“He’s pretty complete, he can play defense and one of the leaders in the WaMaC West in assists too, so it’s not like he just scores goals from a forward position,” Van Dyke added. “He does a lot of different things.”
There were five shots taken by Mid-Prairie, most of which came late in the second half when Van Dyke had replaced starters, but Armando Jimenez kept a clean sheet in net by turning away all five Golden Hawk shots on goal.
Up next the Trojans will get a shot at redemption, as they will hit the road to take on Vinton-Shellsburg, the only loss in conference play for the WaMaC West Champions this year. Van Dyke said his boys enjoyed getting their first playoff win against Mid-Prairie, but their road is far from over.
“We know that every game is a win or go home situation, so we are not going to dwell on it,” he said. “We know Vinton is tough, they beat us earlier in the season, and then we would have one more game to make it to the state tournament after that. But we have to take it one at a time.”
The 1A Substate 4 between the Trojans and Vikings will be on Wednesday in Vinton, starting at 6:30 p.m.
South Tama County 10, Mid-Prairie 0
At Van Horne
STC — Osmar Galvez (Tony Nunez), 1:39.
STC — Roger Flores, 2:54.
STC — Jonathan Castrejon, 8:08.
STC — Galvez (Nunez), 10:23.
STC — Castrejon, 29:54.
STC — Jorge Garcia (Castrejon), 37:14.
STC — Castrejon (Jorge Davila), 44:29.
STC — Nunez (Castrejon), 50:50.
STC — Castrejon (Davila), 62:21.
STC — Galvez (Fores),77:17.
Goalkeepers — M-P: Dominic Pickard (17 shots on goal, 7 saves); STC: Armando Jimenez (5-5).
Shots — M-P 5, STC 26.
Shot on Goal — M-P 5, STC 17.
Corner Kicks — M-P 2, STC 6.
Yellow Cards — Jeffrey Fuentes, STC, 69:25.