Nicson Franck

#15 Nicson Franck secures position over a Solon player Monday night, while #3 Brady Sadler looks on. The Bobcats lost 1-0 as the Spartans earned the 3-2 nod in penalty kicks.

Lady Bobcats get a pair of Lamer goals in 2-0 win over Spartans; see other local scores

VAN HORNE — Benton Community High School played host to a marquee Class 1A boys soccer matchup Monday night as the No. 10 Bobcats (2-3) welcomed the No. 3 Solon Spartans (8-3) to their home field.

Normally conference foes are pretty used to each other and know what to expect. However, it had not been since April 11, 2016 that these two teams had squared off against each other, which was a 4-1 home victory for the Spartans.

Fast forwarding over three years ahead, it was time for another battle and it did not disappoint. Expected to be a defensive battle, that’s exactly what each fan base got with not many offensive opportunities in the first half.

Moving to the next forty minutes of action, still tied at 0-0, not much changed. Benton would earn a corner with about 19 minutes left, but the attempted shot after the ball came into the box went high. A few minutes later, Solon put Bobcat fans on their edge of their seat when a few long passes almost led to a goal. Then in another frightening moment, Gabe Yetley’s near perfect shot just went over the top of the post around the 14:30 mark. However, this kept the match scoreless and that’s how it would remain heading into the first overtime.

The Spartans almost put an end to the contest early with a deep shot by Jorel Justus, but the senior’s attempt snuck just left of the bottom post. For the remainder of the ten minutes, neither team budged, and the same was said in the second overtime as well, leading to penalty kicks to decide a winner.

Up first was Solon and Rodney Wittich found the back of the net. Following the junior was Benton’s Jacob Thompson, who had his shot deflected by the goal keeper, but the ball still managed to cross the line. Tied at one a piece, the Bobcats got the first big break when Luke McInnis’ attempt went wide left and Zach Brecht capitalized with a successful shot, albeit off the goal keeper’s hands again. Now leading 2-1, Benton had a chance to seize control after the Spartans’ third opportunity went left in consecutive tries, but Brady Sadler’s shot was stopped by McInnis. From this point, Solon got a goal each into the bottom right corner by Bennett Meier and Justus with a Jake Stocker miss by the Bobcats in between. This put the pressure on senior Jack Meade to keep the penalty kicks going, but his attempt was hit away left by McInnis, giving the Spartans the 3-2 nod and the 1-0 victory.

“I found it interesting as I didn’t know their penalty kick goal keeper was their midfielder throughout the match. Being up 2-1 was great, but at the same time, he was reading the shots very well and even got his hands on the first two that went in,” said Head Coach Will Stockman. “On the other side, we started a freshman goalie in Koley Kelly (regular starter in Zach Crawford was at track), who had played field for us in previous matches, but had never played goalie. For him to pitch a shutout in 100 minutes of soccer, that’s pretty impressive.”

Thus far in 2019, the collective Benton defense has been superb, allowing just one regulation goal. Unfortunately, the win-loss column is not following in line as expected.

“We build with the defense and we have four quality kids back there, but to give up one goal and be 2-4, it’s pretty difficult. The kids are working hard though and they played well tonight,” added Coach Stockman.

24 hours later, the Bobcats were hoping to get back on track, but unfortunately, they were hit with deja vu as they traveled to take on South Tama (2-2). The momentum went in their favor late in the first half as they went up 1-0. However, the Trojans would get the equalizer with around 11 minutes to play and this 1-1 score went all the way into penalty kicks. Competing in this high stakes affair in back to back nights, Benton was striving to turn around their fortunes, but makes by Thompson and Brecht were not enough as the Bobcats fell 4-2, resulting in a 2-1 final.

While the boys’ matches both came down to the wire Monday and Tuesday, the same could not be said about the Bobcat girls. First, it was a 2-0 road win at Solon behind a pair of goals by sophomore Shakayla Lamer. Then a day later, Benton (3-2) played host to South Tama and came away with a decisive 4-1 victory, which was helped by a hat trick for Lamer, along with another goal by freshman Grace Embretson. The remaining local soccer scores are as follows.

Monday:

Boys-

Mount Vernon 3

Vinton-Shellsburg 9

Goals (9): CJ Rickels (3), David Lapan-Islas (2), Ryan Moore (1), Ethan Rollinger (1), Kale Schulte (1), and Damon Swenson (1)

Tuesday:

Girls-

Vinton-Shellsburg 0

Mount Vernon 5

Boys-

No. 16 (1A) CPU 0

Clear Creek-Amana 1

(Overtime)