Early offense and lockdown defense was the recipe for success for the Dallas Center-Grimes boys soccer team as they captured a round two postseason win against Winterset Wednesday night.
In front of their hometown crowd, the Mustangs defeated round one winner Winterset by a 3-0 margin, giving them the right to move on and advance to the sub-state final where they will battle long-time rival ADM.
All the Mustangs needed was simply one goal scored but instead, they captured three, starting with sophomore Eli Followwill. Followwill kicked off the scoring with his fourth goal of the 2019 campaign in the tenth minute of action. Nineteen minutes later, Ian Webster deposited his fifth goal scored on the season, giving the Mustangs a healthy 2-0 advantage heading into the halftime break. The contest was both helped and hindered by a significant wind which turned out to play a role in the strategy of the game.
“We definitely had to acknowledge the wind today, there was no ignoring it and because of that our strategy for both the first and second halves in some part revolved around the wind,” said Mustang head coach Collin Lane. “The strategy revolved around how ready these guys were so once the chance was given to go with the wind in the first half, we jumped right on it because of how ready the guys were.”
The Mustangs ended up delivering on their ninth shutout victory of the season and the ninth time leading in such a fashion at the halftime break. What has been a hallmark of the 2019 Mustang squad has been their exceptional defense. Despite obtaining a 2-0 halftime advantage, coach Lane still expressed some defensive improvements to be made at the half.
“We’ve been working on team defense a lot and not just leaving the defense to the defenders and making sure we’re pressuring the ball so we can easily transition to the attack,” began Lane. “The big message at the half was that we’re not defined by just one role, we have to be able to transition to offense and vice versa. I feel the guys were able to do that fairly well in the second half.”
In that second half, defense reigned supreme but the Mustang offense did manage to capture one more goal on a Nate Friesen goal from ten yards out to officially put the game away with four minutes remaining in the contest. It was Friesen’s fifth goal of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time. It helped solidify the win and the senior spoke about his goal scored following the win.
“The wind was definitely something to look out for but with some great passing by my teammates, I was able to get in close enough where the wind wasn’t as much as a factor and I just made sure to give it a good shot.”
When the regulation clock showed all zeros on the scoreboard, it meant that the Mustangs delivered on a victory, their 13th on the season. That now gives Mustang soccer two straight seasons of at least 13 wins. They will now move onto the sub-state final where they will take on not just a familiar foe, but a familiar postseason foe in long-time rival ADM, something that excites the likes of Friesen and the rest of the Mustang roster.
“Some teams may look at facing an opponent twice as scary but we welcome it,” began Friesen. We did take down Winterset for a second time so we already know what it takes to beat a team twice. With us being so familiar with ADM it gives us a slight advantage because we know how they operate but we also must watch out because, on the flip side, they know how we operate too.”
The contest will kick off Saturday, May 25 at DC-G Stadium in Grimes and will begin at 12 p.m.