Bobcats hunt down Dodgers for first win

MHS girls end program’s 19-game slide

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown freshman Claire Close (16) races to the ball against Fort Dodge defender Maddie Lee (25) during the second half of Friday’s CIML Iowa Conference soccer match at Leonard Cole Field. The Bobcats got their first win of the season, defeating the Dodgers 4-0.

At long last, Marshalltown girls’ soccer got over the hump Friday night and finished off its first victory of the season. The Bobcats scored at the buzzer of the first half and then added three goals in the second half to grab a 4-0 win over Fort Dodge on Senior Night. It snaps a 19-game losing streak for the Bobcats going back to the 2021 season. MHS is now 1-14 on the season and 1-4 in CIML Iowa Conference play.

After a joyous celebration in the aftermath of the victory, head coach Stacy Galema said it was important for the Bobcats to get this win on Senior Night (seniors included Taylor Hoffman, Amber MArtinez, Kathryn Johnson, Marisol Morales, Marianna Ordaz, Brianna Medina Gomez and Jenny Mendoza).

“It’s always a special night,” Galema said. “You just wanna go out and play hard for them and have confidence in how they play and how we play as a team.

“It’s awesome to be able to recognize them for what they’ve done and how they’ve been here whether it was one year or four, and it’s one of the least favorite because you know their time is winding down.”

Marshalltown was on the front foot for a majority of the first half and, as the half neared its halfway point, the Bobcats won a penalty after a foul in the box. Freshman Kenya Gomez Reyes stepped up to the spot and left the Fort Dodge goalkeeper frozen — but her attempt at putting the ball into the bottom left corner was dragged just wide of the post. The score remained 0-0.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown sophomore Alexia Garcia, center, and Fort Dodge’s Aja Jallow, far left, race to the ball for possession during the first half of Friday’s soccer match at Leonard Cole Field.

In the final seconds of the first half, the freshman made up for it with a shot from just outside of the box snuck past the Dodgers’ keeper as the buzzer sounded. Going into the half with a 1-0 lead, it was important for the Bobcats to have a strong start to the second half and not allow Fort Dodge to find a way back into the game.

The second goal came 4 minutes into the second half, with a counter-attack ending up with the ball in the back of the net thanks to Taylor Hoffman — the only senior to score for MHS all night.

One minute later an unexpected goal came on a long-range free kick from sophomore defender Carroll Gomez-Reyes. The center back struck a shot sweetly from nearly 35 yards out that surprised the opposing keeper and found the back of the net to give the Bobcats a three-goal cushion with over 30 minutes to play.

A few minutes later, the rout was completed by a second goal from Kenya Gomez Reyes. The freshman got on the end of a throw and found her way into the box to slot home.

Galema said the young winger has the ability, and they’ve told her to be more aggressive as the season has gone on.

“Kenya is a very controlled player,” Galema said. “She’s very confident on the ball and shooting has never really been a strong point, especially when she’s been coming up through club and stuff. It’s something as of late we’ve really been pushing because she has a good shot. She’s able to place the ball.”

The Bobcats will look to continue the positive momentum into next week when they host West Des Moines Valley on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.


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