ADEL - The Glenwood boys soccer team came up a goal short in its Class 2A district final on Saturday at Adel.
The No. 14 ranked Rams came back each time No. 8 ranked A-D-M went ahead but Glenwood couldn’t quite pull off the upset in a 4-3 loss that sends the Tigers to this week’s state soccer tournament. Glenwood finishes its season at 13-9.
“We battled with them back and fourth but this felt like one of the best games we’ve played all season,” said Glenwood coach Shane Keeling. “They took advantage of a couple break downs that we had and exploited those mistakes.”
A-D-M (16-4) took advantage early, getting on the scoreboard first when Jonah Waldron, Class 2A’s leading goal scorer this season, found the back of the net in the match’s early minutes.
Glenwood, however, responded when Jake Radcliff scored in the 28th minute.
With the score knotted at 1-1, the Tigers’ Keegan Mumma found Jacob Hutzell streaking down the right side for a goal to put A-D-M ahead 2-1 just before halftime.
Halftime seemed to settle both teams. Neither team proposed much of a threat until nearly 30 minutes were gone in the half.
Glenwood was the first to strike. The Rams’ Trenton McNeel found himself open on the right side and nailed a shot in to once again tie the score, this time at 2-2.
The Tigers, however, wouldn’t stay quiet for long and Waldron, once again, was the Tigers’ catalyst. Just three minutes after McNeel’s game-tying goal, Waldron, a senior forward, snuck behind the Rams,’defense for his second goal of the night and a 3-2 lead for A-D-M.
The score, however, wouldn’t stay that way for long. The Rams’ McNeel responded with the game’s third game-tying goal with just under eight minutes to go.
But the Tigers weren’t willing to just play defense and settle for overtime. Just two minutes after McNeel’s goal, A-D-M’s Derek Gushiken raced down the left side for a strike past Ram goal-keeper Nick Frazee that would ultimately send the Tigers to state and end the Rams’ season.
“We felt like we out-possessed them to be honest but that doesn’t always lead to a ‘W,’” Keeling said. “One of their players came into the game with 30 goals and we knew he, (Jonah) Waldron was going to be a challenge to contain and he finished with two goals. He got behind us on that last one and I really thought that was the difference in the game.”
Keeling, the Rams’ first year head coach, said he couldn’t be prouder that his team never stopped fighting even when down late.
“I told them with 10 minutes left, down like we were, we could have folded. But they kept fighting, found a way to score. I felt really good about that.”
The Rams lose nine seniors from this year’s squad but Keeling sees a bright future for his program.
“I feel good about the direction of the program,” Keeling said. “We have a strong core of sophomores and we definitely have some juniors and freshmen that will contribute as well. All those guys got good experience this year. We lose some good, experienced seniors. But we feel like we can compete next year and be back here.”
Colton McNeel and Blake Beier each scored two goals for Glenwood in a 4-2, Class 2A, Substate 8 semifinal victory over Harlan last Wednesday.
Greg Conry and Devon McClain each had a goal for the Cyclones.