PLEASANT HILL — Newton’s Cardinal girls had the short and long of it at Saturday’s Southeast Polk Girls’ Soccer Tournament.
In their first game of the tournament, the Cardinals posted a 10-0 win over Prairie City-Monroe’s Mustangs in a victory-margin-rule shortened game. When Newton’s 10th goal found the net with 4 minutes, 24 seconds left in the contest, the game was called.
The long of it came in the afternoon game against Marshalltown. The preseason Class 2A 13th-ranked Cardinals and Marshalltown Bobcats played the 60-minute game to a scoreless tie. Newton won 1-0, with a 4-1 advantage in penalty kicks.
PCM’s Mustangs played two more games in the tournament. They lost 5-0 to Southeast Polk JV A-team and 3-0 to Davenport West. The Mustangs are 1-3 for the season.
Newton improved to 3-0. The Cardinals open their home schedule this coming Saturday with a tournament, featuring Des Moines Lincoln, Perry and PCM.
“It was very windy at the complex and the girls battled for 60 minutes,” NHS head coach Cathy Reiter said of the Marshalltown game. “I was especially proud of how we played in the last 10 minutes of regulation.”
Ryanne Rausch was first on the field in the penalty-kick shootout against Marshalltown. She got the ball past the Bobcat goalkeeper, then Cardinal goalkeeper Emily Forsyth made a save on Marshalltown’s first player’s attempt.
Reiter said Forsyth’s save was huge for the Cardinals because it took a ton of pressure off the Newton shooters. Forsyth had five saves for the game. As the shootout continued, Victoria Jordan connected for a second score for Newton and Marshalltown’s next attempt was wide of the net.
Hannah Rhoads scored to put the Cardinals up 3-0. Marshalltown’s third kicker got the ball past Forsyth. Sealing the victory for Newton was a successful penalty kick by Taylor Shipley, giving the Cardinals a 4-1 advantage.
“I know how tired they were fighting that wind for 50 minutes, but they didn’t show it, and we really put the pressure on and finished those last 10 minutes so strong. They were connecting passes and moving up the field. I think the way we ended gave us a lot of confidence going into PK’s,” Reiter said.
Against PCM, Rausch began the Newton scoring with less than two minutes gone in the game. A minute later, Amber Karsten put a direct kick over the wall of Mustang players and Mustang goalkeeper Taylor Davenport for a score.
Jordan got past Davenport, controlled the soccer ball and scored unassisted for the Cardinals. Davenport was under constant pressure from Newton throughout the game.
Bailey Beaderstadt was on the other side of the net when the ball got past Davenport for a score in the 17th minute of the game. Davenport got knocked down when a Cardinal shot on goal hit her in the face. Newton’s Skylar Seals finished the play with a goal to make it 5-0.
“Taylor is a tough kid. She stayed in there. Taylor played well throughout the tournament games for us,” said Bill Sowder, PCM head coach. “We didn’t play like we did Thursday (when PCM won 3-1 over CMB). The girls just have to believe in themselves and continue to improve on what we’re asking them to do.”
Rausch scored her second goal of the game to begin the second half for Newton. Taylor Moon found the net twice off corner kicks in the middle of the second half.
“Everyone who came today got to play in this game. They all contributed in the game,” Reiter said.
Newton did lose the services of junior Rylie Udelhoven midway through the first half. She went down with a knee injury. Later in the game, Forsyth used Udelhoven’s jersey and played at the offensive end. Forsyth scored two goals to finish up the game with 4:24 remaining.
Newton’s Forsyth had two saves in the game with PCM. Rhoads was credited with two assists while Karsten, Jordan and Kari Adams each had one assist.
“We were looking forward to today and continuing our season. We won at Ballard, which was good to start the season, and came out today playing well together,” Karsten said. “We focused on playing hard and getting better no matter what happens during a game.”
Reiter said the Cardinals came out with a lot energy against PCM, got an early led and kept playing aggressively. She said the team was able to work on some new things such as combination plays.
For PCM, the day was a tough one but Sowder saw improvement in his players through the three losses at the tournament.
“We knew the level of competition was going to challenge us today,” Sowder said. “The girls are getting used to my coaching and they are better than they think they are. They have to believe in themselves. It’s still early in the season. We’re just going to work on getting better each game.”
Sowder pointed to the play of Davenport as goalkeeper in all three games. He said freshman forward Aranda Woods earned a spot on the varsity team with her play during the tournament.
NEWTON won its season opener Thursday at Ballard, 3-1.
“There’s always nerves that come along with first game of the season,” Forsyth said. She is a three-year starter in goal for the Cardinals. “We played pretty well for our first game. We have a lot of room to improve. We had a lot of positive things come out of the Ballard game.”
Jordan took a pass from Rhoads to score the first goal of the season around the 15-minute mark. Ten minutes later, Karsten found the net with an assist from Udelhoven to put the Cardinals up 2-0 at halftime at Ballard.
In the 60th minute, Ballard cut the Newton lead in half with a goal. Karsten made a pass to Rausch for an insurance goal with a minute remaining in the game. Forsyth had five saves in the contest.
“Overall, the team came out really strong in the first half. They had high energy and really put the pressure on Ballard from the start,” Reiter said. “After Ballard scored, we fought back, through first game jitters and tired legs, we scored at the end to seal the victory. I was very proud of the girls to battle all the way to the end and come out with the win.”