The Marshalltown boys' soccer team played a man down for the entire second half. It was all the Bobcats could do to keep the match even mildly interesting.
A shorthanded first-year program from Waterloo East played Monday's Class 3A Substate 3 first-round game with only eight players, suffering the wrath of the Bobcats by a 21-0 final score at Leonard Cole Field.
Marshalltown (13-8) advances to meet sixth-ranked Ames (15-2-1) in Wednesday's substate semifinals on the Little Cyclones' pitch, where less than two weeks ago the Bobcats were dealt a 3-0 setback.
T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
Marshalltown sophomore forward Austin Lovin, center, sends a shot on goal against Waterloo East’s Michael Benitez (0) as Brandon Harkrider gives chase during the first half of action in Monday’s Class 3A Substate 3 match at Leonard Cole Field. Lovin had a goal and two assists in the Bobcats’ 21-0 victory.
Playing a pressure-free postseason opener against a helpless Waterloo East (0-17) squad may not have provided the proper preparation for the rematch.
"I tried to have them play like we would looking into the next game versus Ames," said MHS head coach Creighton Jenness. "We struggled with a lot of different things (against Ames) and we tried to work on those.
"But tonight we had a lot of guys playing spots they never played in their life, so playing a game like this is kind of good and kind of bad. Going against Ames, the guys' focus might not be there."
Eleven different players scored goals on Monday night for the Bobcats, including the first career goals for a pair of seniors in their final home match. Michael Erman and Alex Vajgrt both found the back of the net in the second half, including Vajgrt's redirection of an Agustin Tellez corner kick on a header to make it 17-0.
"That was a good goal, a great goal especially for him," said Jenness. "For a senior coming out here for their last game on this field, him and Erman I believe got one. A lot of other guys got goals so that was good for some of them too."
Bobcat sophomore Martin Chavarria matched his career high with five goals to go along with three assists in leading the scoring onslaught. He has 20 goals for the season, one shy of Ames' Mike Mayberry for the lead among CIML Iowa Conference teams.
Luis Nunez tallied four goals while Agustin Ortiz, David Duran and Tony Ordaz Zambrano each scored twice.
Kevin Martinez, Austin Lovin, Jose Cordova, Eric Ayala, Erman and Vajgrt got one goal apiece.
Ordaz Zambrano finished with three assists, Lovin had two, while Cristian Lugo, Agustin Tellez, Erman, Martinez and Duran had one helper each.
"I don't know how many we literally missed from point blank, and if we do that versus Ames it's going to be the end of the season," said Jenness. "So hopefully we can instill some killer instinct in them in a day of practice."
The Bobcats were credited with 49 shots on goal and more that weren't even on net. Waterloo East's three goalkeepers - Michael Benitez (12), Raul Ramirez (1) and Brandon Harkrider (15) - combined to make 28 saves.
MHS netminder Kreighton Miller made just two stops for the first-round shutout.
Waterloo East's painfully long season came to an end with just five total goals scored and 232 goals against - last in the state according to quikstatsiowa.com. The Trojans had two players red-carded in their regular season finale, forcing them to miss Monday's playoff match, and two more were out with injury from the 12-man lineup.
"I knew the game wouldn't be the best preparation for our next game," said Jenness, "it might even deter us."
Wednesday's semifinal contest begins at 6:30 p.m. at Ames High School.