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Scarlets steal Marshalltown’s opportunity

Bobcats’ slump continues in loss to 10-man DM East, 3-1

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown junior midfielder Edgar Almanza (18) makes a pass while under pressure from Des Moines East’s Rodrigo Perez during Tuesday’s CIML soccer match at Leonard Cole Field. The visiting Scarlets defeated the Bobcats 3-1.

What started out as a chance for Marshalltown boys’ soccer to bounce back from a frustrating week of losses turned into a third-straight defeat and confirmation that the Bobcats are in a funk midway through their season.

The 3-1 loss Tuesday night to Des Moines East drops the Bobcats to 4-4 on the season after a 4-1 start. It was yet another outing in which the Bobcats didn’t take the initiative in the attack, barely registering a shot on target until the last half-hour of the match.

The first 25 minutes of the game were back-and-forth with East coming close to scoring on one or two occasions, but goalkeeper Ernesto Tellez made strong saves to keep the score level. Tellez made at least 10 saves for the Bobcats.

With 14 minutes left in the half, a Marshalltown defender committed a foul in the box and gave away a penalty. The Scarlets dispatched the penalty and took a 1-0 lead into the half. Marshalltown’s best chance of the half came when senior Richard Toe had a shot strike the crossbar.

East came out swinging in the second half, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes of action to leave the Bobcats with a mountain to climb in order to get back in the game.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

Head coach Scott Johannes said he didn’t see enough initiative from the team after they went behind.

“Just too many missed opportunities on our end,” Johannes said. “Didn’t control the ball and didn’t control the middle, probably gave up too much there. Obviously probably with the third goal, it’s tough to come back against anybody when you’re down three.”

But with a half hour left on the clock, Marshalltown was given a lifeline. Scarlets defender Chris Aguillon was sent off for a second yellow card, leaving East to fight with 10 men for the rest of the contest.

The Scarlets were still the more attacking team for the first 15 minutes they had 10 men, nearly scoring and keeping the Bobcats pinned back. Johannes said the Bobcats had already begun hanging their heads, making the man advantage not as effective.

Eventually, Marshalltown’s attack broke out of its shell and went on to score a goal off of a left-footed hopeful shot from Toe that snuck past the East goalie to cut the deficit to 3-1. But the Bobcats could not cut into the two-goal lead over the final seven minutes, and were left wondering what could have been.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

Johannes said he was pleased with how Marshalltown played in the last stages of the game.

“Loved to see the last six-to-eight minutes there,” Johannes said. “I think after not scoring for a couple games, it gave them a little confidence that we can do this, this is what we can play.”

The No. 12 Bobcats are still dealing with injuries, as up to four starters have missed action with injuries and multiple players missed Tuesday’s game in order to be fit for later in the season. Still, the team is .500 and in need of a win.

Their next chance at victory is Friday night on the road against 2-4 Des Moines Lincoln.

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