On a night where the weather finally reflected spring time, the seventh ranked A-D-M boys’ soccer team used a surging second half to defeat Class 2A’s ninth ranked Dallas Center-Grimes by a 4-3 final.
The game favored A-D-M throughout most of the contest in which the Tigers never trailed. The Tigers wasted no time in taking their first lead of the game as Issac Higgins connected on A-D-M’s first goal of the evening just 37 seconds into the contest. After the final buzzer, Higgins reflected on the opening goal.
“The goal was really a team goal,” began Higgins. “It’s something we’ve gone through in practice together and today I had help from Eli Schwarzkopf who delivered me the ball.”
The Mustangs would answer back connecting on a Noah Webster goal to equalize the game in the seventh minute of play.
Despite the quick start and final outcome, the first half played more defensively in nature with just seven shots on goal combined between both teams. The Tigers used great ball possession to keep the Mustang offense at bay throughout the remainder of the first half, sending both teams into the halftime break with a 1-1 tie.
For the Tigers, their big breakout happened in the second half where they connected on three of their four goals. Freshman Josh Pike connected on his first goal of the season to open up what would be a wild second half. Pike’s goal came in the 49th minute of action courtesy of one of three Davis Barton assists on the night. Three minutes later, Heriberto Ponce connected with Barton who broke away from his defensive duties to score his fourth goal of the season.
The Tiger defense saw their toughest test of the game come with under eight minutes left in the contest starting when DC-G’s Alex Thompson slipped past the defense to cut the Tiger lead in half in the 73rd minute. The game would then enter into a call and response type scenario as the Tigers answered the Mustangs’ call with Sam Bardwell’s first goal of the season with under five minutes remaining in the game, giving A-D-M a 4-2 lead. DC-G would counter A-D-M’s goal with one more of their own with under five minutes remaining but further favorable ball possession for the Tigers kept their lead in tact which resulted in the 4-3 victory.
The roller coaster contest had a lot of ups and downs but for A-D-M head coach Bill Shields, there was one particular aspect of the game that held the most weight in the win.
“I think the key to the game was the first 15 minutes of the second half,” started Shields. “We possessed the ball really well and wore them down. We kept them out of rhythm and made it easier for ourselves on both offense and defense.”
The win for the Tigers gives them their second win over a ranked opponent in the past three games. The win also gives even more validation to a strong season.
“This was a big win for us,” said senior Ethan Meyer. “We were in sync all game long and we showed that this team has what it takes to compete with anyone both mentally and physically.”
The Tigers continue to remain unblemished on the season and will look for continued dominance when they hit the road Thursday, April 26th in Newton. It will be their third ranked opponent in the past four games and will begin at 7 p.m