For the second straight season the Glenwood girls soccer team is headed to the Iowa State Soccer Tournament.
The Rams jumped on Denison early and never let up in a 4-1 Regional Championship win at Denison on Monday night.
The Rams (14-1) will open the first round of state play on Thursday at 2:15 p.m. against A-D-M/Van Meter (13-3) at the Muscatine Soccer Complex.
Glenwood lost its first ever match in the state tournament last season, 3-0 to eventual champion Cedar Rapids Xavier.
The Glenwood girls soccer team scored two goals in the first four minutes in its Class 2A, Region 2 semifinal against Harlan.
Then they scored some more. And then even some more.
Final score: Glenwood 10, Harlan 0.
The game, mercifully ended by the mercy rule with more than 34 minutes to go in the game when Mallory Hoyt’s fourth goal of the game capped the Rams’ best offensive game of the season, said Coach Caitlin McIntosh.
“That was our goal,” the coach said. “We wanted to come out, lay it on them and not let up. We wanted to finish our chances better than we had this season.”
The Rams’ nine first half goals is a school record. McIntosh thinks her team came so fired up and aggressive because they’ve been idle for going on two weeks – the last two regular-season games were both canceled due to weather. The Rams’ last match was a 5-0 win over the same Cyclones on May 17.
“Our girls were hungry to play a game and readyto be competitive by going after another team,” McIntosh said. “They (Harlan) just sort of got the brunt of our competitiveness.”
The Rams (13-1) were “competitive” from the opening whistle. Hoyt got things started just 35 seconds into the game for her first of three first half goals.
Michaela Moore added a dart three minutes later for the 2-0 lead. And the Cyclones seemed to fade fast.
“We’ve been working on attacking fast and early,” McIntosh said. “Prior to our last game against Harlan, we hadn’t scored in the first 20 minutes of a game this year. We told the girls, ‘Get up on them early.’ We stressed that last game against them and we stressed it this time. We want to get up early, execute our shots and finish our chances. Our first two shots were both goals. That’s pretty textbook execution.”
Hoyt added two more scores before the half, along with two by Sydney Gutschenritter and Moore added one more. Also scoring in the first half barrage was Gretchen Dehn and Derrin Williams. In a span of 10 minutes, Glenwood scored four goals to close out the first half.
Hoyt’s fourth and final goal in the 36th minute ended the game.
For the game, Glenwood out shot Harlan 14 to 1. The Rams’ have outscored their last five opponents 31-0 and have not allowed a goal since a 2-1 win over Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln on May 2.
The Class 2A No. 5 ranked Rams advanced to the regional final for the right to go to state this week. The Rams were scheduled to play Denison (7-8) in Monday’s final. The Rams defeated the Monarch’s 4-0 in the second match of the season.
“We feel a lot more confident this year than we were at this point last year,” McIntosh said. “I think that’s definitely helping us. Maybe that can help us get back to the state tournament.”