Newton’s girls soccer team is battling. And no matter how many injuries the Cardinals sustain, they are still finding ways to win on the pitch.
The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead against Perry on Friday and held on for the 3-1 non-conference victory at H.A. Lynn Stadium.
“We just needed to put some in,” Newton girls coach Abby Lamont said. “We were able to do that and hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”
While Friday’s match ended in a win, Saturday’s road contest against Van Meter was a 2-0 defeat. The Bulldogs scored one goal in each half and improved to 9-3 on the season.
Against Perry, Newton scored two minutes into the match. The Cardinals’ got free in the offensive third and a beautiful centering pass by Brooklyn Cupples was converted into a goal by Audrey Rausch.
Cupples got around a charging keeper to set up Rausch, who had an open goal. It was Cupples’ third assist of the season.
“It was great. The pass from Brooklyn was beautiful,” Lamont said about the fast start. “That was perfect execution. Unfortunately, we decided to not play that well the rest of the game. But we got away with the win.
“Some points we shine. Some points we don’t. It’s there though. We saw a little bit of it tonight.”
Unfortunately, Cupples was injured on the play after colliding with a Perry player. She was carted off the field and later taken away in an ambulance. It was a leg injury.
Cupples left the match early with the injury and several other Cardinals are playing through injuries, too.
Lamont said the team’s versatility will help them work through the injuries and get past a tough stretch of the season.
“It’s the middle of the season. It’s hard. It’s rough. It’s a contact sport,” Lamont said. “But we’ll get through it. We have the ability to move around the lineup because we have a lot of versatility.”
Rausch put Newton in front 1-0 two minutes into the match and extended the lead to 2-0 with two minutes left in the half.
Her second goal of the night and eighth of the season was sent high in the air and over the head of Perry’s keeper.
“We have been working on placement with her and trying to find the sweet spot with our passes to her,” Lamont said. “It’s not kick and run anymore. We need to find that spot between the defense. We found it tonight and hope to perfect that sooner rather than later.”
The Cardinals (5-6) put the match away early in the second half. Riley Davidson scored the first goal of her career in the 44th minute.
The score came off a free kick. There was a scramble in front of the net and Davidson got a clean look and booted it past the Perry keeper from about 10 yards out.
Perry (2-9) scored its goal with 11:41 to play. The Bluejays had a few other opportunities to close the gap even more, but Newton keeper Aurora Nehring and the Cardinals’ defense were up to the challenge. Nehring unofficially finished with six saves.
Newton out-shot Perry 25-16, had an 11-7 advantage in shots on goal and a 6-1 surplus in corner kicks.
Notes: Madi Altemeier, who left the match briefly because of an injury midway through the first half, received a yellow card in the 34th minute. … Newton has six losses this season, four of which have been decided by one goal. … Van Meter is 2-0 against Newton in 2021, winning the first meeting 3-0 at the Cardinals’ home tournament in April. ... The home match against Perry was played with only two officials. ... Lights on the fan side of the field went out for about 20 minutes in the first half on Friday. They came back on before it was dark enough to affect play.