NEWTON — Newton’s Cardinals had a good start to the 2014 soccer season. It could have been better Saturday at home in the Newton Cardinals Hy-Vee Boys Soccer Tournament.
The host team began the day’s competition with a 2-0 win over Benton Community of Van Horne. The win put the Cardinals in the four-team tournament championship game.
They waited for their opponent. Mid-Prairie of Wellman defeated Prairie City-Monroe’s Mustangs, 3-0, in the second game of the tournament.
Mid-Prairie’s Golden Hawks swooped past the Cardinals, 2-0, in the championship game. Sophomore Griffin Engel played in the net for the Cardinals in both games. In the title contest, Engel had six goal saves.
Mid-Prairie got a goal each from Cady Wyatt and Ryan Harpart, Goalkeeper Nathan Faselt had four saves.
Team captain senior Chandler Sturtz said the Cardinals settled down a bit in the tournament opener Saturday morning after senior Nathan Moorman scored. Moorman said after a teammate made a shot on goal, “I was in the right place for the rebound. I turned and shot it in the net.”
The Cardinals held a 1-0 lead at halftime over the Benton Bobcats.
“Of course, there was a lot of talk about how inexperienced we are,” Sturtz said. “Scoring early allowed us to settle down and we played better in the first half. The second half was a little sloppy. I think we were playing not to lose instead of to win, but we did alright.”
In the second half, Moorman got past two Benton defenders and put a high shot over the Bobcat goalkeeper’s head into the net. The goal came with 3:01 remaining in the 80-minute game.
“It feels great to get two goals in the first game. We were looking good in the first half and possessing the ball really well,” Moorman said. “We were on our heels a lot of the time in the second half. Our confidence came back after I scored the second goal and we finished the game well.”
PCM’s Mustangs fought off attack after attack by the Golden Hawks in the second game. Mustang goalkeeper senior Derrick Hoodjer made several saves in the first half in a scoreless game.
Hoodjer deflected a shot on goal by Mid-Prairie but right there for a header into the net was the Golden Hawks’ Wyatt. The Mustangs, who had lost 5-1 on Thursday to Pella Christian, were still in the contest, trailing 1-0 at halftime.
The Golden Hawks kept the pressure on in the second half. They scored twice before the midway point of the 40-minute second half on their way to a 3-0 decision.
PCM lost 6-1 to Benton in the third-place game.
Newton (1-1) travels to Norwalk Tuesday to open Little Hawkeye Conference play.