No. 6 Iowa Mennonite School beat No. 12 Mid-Prairie 3-1 Wednesday in Class 1A substate semifinal at IMS.
It was a rematch of a game from just one week ago that ended in a 1-1 tie.
Although it took almost midway through the first half before IMS scored a goal, the team was on the offensive much of the first half.
IMS had its first big chance at a goal at the fifteen minute mark when a direct kicked sailed over the hands of Mid-Prairie goalie Chase Murray. Unfortunately for IMS the shot also sailed barely a foot over the crossbar.
Less than two minutes later Nicholas Yoder found himself behind the Mid-Prairie defense with some great passing and slid a shot past a diving Murray for the 1-0 lead.
The goal by Yoder almost worked against IMS as the next ten minutes of the first half were controlled by the Golden Hawks.
Mid-Prairie would control the latter part of the first half, but never had anything on the scoreboard to show for it. There was a chance for a header by Austin Errthum off of a corner kick that went barely above the crossbar at the 27-minute mark.
Mid-Prairie missed another golden opportunity when IMS goalie Joel Shetler was away from the goal, but couldn’t capitalize on the chance.
With only two minutes left in the first half, IMS had another chance to score, and didn’t waste the opportunity. Dillon Bender scored after Chase Murray mishandled a ball kicked into the goalie box.
“We definitely were getting out-hustled in the first half, that’s the first thing we addressed when we came back from halftime,” Mid-Prairie coach Pat Cady said. “The first goal didn’t bother us that much, but then we make the second mistake and they capitalize off of it.”
IMS coach Marcus Miller thought shot selection was key in gaining a lead against the Golden Hawks.
“We saw in the two games before the Mid-Prairie game (tonight), we were doing a good job of possessing the ball and we were looking for the perfect shot, and those don’t exist,” Miller said. “We just worked on taking more shots and shots from distance, and not waiting for the perfect one.”
Mid-Prairie was able to control the ball in the second half but had nothing to show for its efforts. Most of the reason for Mid-Prairie’s inability to score was due to the defense of IMS, including eight saves from Shetler.
“Justin Boller and Cody Miller have been a really strong tangent in the middle, so when one makes a mistake the other one is there to clean up for the other,” Miller said.
IMS took a 3-0 lead in the 61st minute on a breakaway by Reggie Hostetler.
Mid-Prairie’s lone goal was scored by Errthum in the 72nd minute after finally getting behind the IMS defense that had given him and the Golden Hawks so much trouble throughout the game.
Mid-Prairie was without junior Wyatt Cady, who had surgery this week to repair a broken bone he sustained a few weeks ago.
“Not having Wyatt Cady up top was a huge difference for us,” Pat Cady said. “We just couldn’t find that chemistry. Wyatt and Austin work so good together … Austin just needs to find the chemistry with someone else when Wyatt isn’t there to create some offense.
“They just played better soccer than us tonight.”
Mid-Prairie finished the season at 8-3-2. IMS (14-6-1) moves on to play No. 1 Regina (11-1) at noon Saturday in Iowa City for a spot in state tournament.