NEVADA — Newton’s Cardinals won a shootout with Southeast Polk to reach the championship game of Saturday’s Nevada Boys Soccer Tournament. The Cardinals paid the price of a long contest against the Rams.
“Our kids were tired against Marshalltown. We didn’t have any energy left to play this game,” Newton head coach Sackda Viravong said. “Many of our players were nursing injuries here and there, thus we were not fresh at all for the championship game.”
Marshalltown defeated Newton, 4-0, in the title game. Newton had worked through a full contest, tied 1-1, with Southeast Polk and then went into a second shootout session to win 2-1.
“We spent our effort against SEP and fought hard to win that game,” Viragon said. “Marshalltown was well put together and we didn’t have any answer to counter their energy and their style of play. However, I’m proud of our kids and the way we played in this tournament. We put up a valiant effort against a very good team.”
In the loss to Marshalltown, Griffin Engel had seven saves while giving up four goals. The Bobcat defense kept the Cardinal offense at bay. Newton had just three shots on goal in the game.
The Cardinals opened the tournament with a 4-0 win over North Polk. They were up 2-0 at halftime on goals by Reese Rosenquist and Josh Ventling. Nathan Moorman and Rosenquist had an assist apiece.
Chandler Sturtz scored an unassisted goal. Ventling put the finishing touch on the victory with a goal off an assist from a throw-in ball by Mike McCormick. Engel made two saves in goal for the Cardinals.
“We scored early in this game and controlled the tempo throughout the entire match. We moved the ball all over the field and were able to dictate the play with our passing game,” Viravong said.
Viravong said it was good to see Newton’s players enjoying the game and having all they’ve learned come to fruition.
Against Southeast Polk, McCormick’s throw-in prowess was seen again as Ventling scored on the play. Newton led 1-0 at the break, but Southeast tied the game with a second-half goal.
Tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation, the teams went to penalty kicks. The game was deadlocked, 3-3, after the first round of the shootout.
Viravong said the Rams’ missed on a penalty kick to begin the second round. Brock Southern kicked the ball past the SEP goalkeeper to ring up the win for Newton. The Cardinals won the shootout, 4-3, translating into a 2-1 game score.
Grant Davidson was in goal for the Cardinals in the contest. He was credited with seven saves. He also made one of the penalty kicks for Newton.
“It was a great victory for the team against SEP. We lost to them earlier in the season 4-0, and it was a great feeling to play them again and beat them. Overall, it was a great team effort that paved the way into the championship round,” Viravong said.
After the North Polk game, several players left the tournament for a band competition, he said.
Viravong said several players had to play in a new position: Rosenquist as a stopper, Jordan Norvell as a sweeper, and Dalton Nevels as an outside right back defender. He said the Rams pressed the Cardinals hard and out shot Newton, 12-5.
“Now, we have to finish strong in the remaining games — all three are regular season conference matches before the playoffs,” Viravong said.
The Cardinals (8-5) are at Oskaloosa Tuesday in Little Hawkeye Conference play. It is a doubleheader with the girls’ game at 4:30 p.m. and the boys taking the field at 6 p.m.
Newton’s girls (8-1) climbed to No. 11 in the Class 2A rankings.