Iowa Mennonite School, ranked seventh in Class 1A, defeated 2A Fairfield Monday, 3-2, in overtime at Fairfield then won a home match Tuesday, 6-0, over Wapello.
At Fairfield, Kobe Borntrager sent a ball to Jacob Boller, who sent a through pass to Louis Etienne, who beat a defender and put the ball into the net three minutes into the game for a 1-0 IMS lead.
“It was a pass from my teammate where I just beat the defender and was left with just me and the goalie and I don’t remember where I put the ball exactly, but it was in the net,” Etienne said.
Seventeen minutes into the half, Fairfield created a chance off some nice combination play to even the score at 1-1.
IMS began applying more pressure, creating several chances but not finding the net. One shot was knocked down by a Fairfield player’s arm resulting in a penalty kick for IMS. Boller’s blast was good for the 2-1 lead going into the half.
“Coach called me to take it. It was 1-1, so I knew I better not miss it, so I put it in the bottom corner, right by the goalie,” Boller said. “He guessed right and made a good play but I got it by him and it felt good.”
With about six minutes left in the second half a Fairfield player fell in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. Despite a valiant effort by IMS keeper Blake Bontrager, he was unable to keep the ball out of the net as Fairfield equalized the score.
Fairfield won the overtime toss and chose the wind. About seven minutes in the first overtime period, IMS’ Cody Jones gathered in a ball, sending it long to Etienne, who ran it down and despite being hit, rifled a shot into the far corner for the golden goal and the 3-2 win.
“I beat one defender between his legs and then I saw the goalie shifting because he thought I was going to cross it back, so I shot it and it went in,” Etienne said. “It feels really good to beat a team like Fairfield because they are really good. Senior year really means a lot to me and soccer is a big part of my life and it’s nice to be out on the field being active.”
Boller is also appreciative of his last year in high school.
“Senior year has been great for me to step up my role as a leader and I really worked hard in the offseason on my skills,” he said. “Our only goal is to get back to state.”
“We knew Fairfield would give us a tough game and sometimes our conference opponents’ strength isn’t all that strong so we knew we would get a good game and a test of what we do well and what we can work on,” IMS coach Marcus Miller said. “It was nice to see the guys be resilient with grabbing the lead and then giving up a goal but grabbing the lead right back again and then winning after allowing the PK.”
It took IMS a little while to get on track against Wapello, but eventually the pieces came together as Etienne scored three goals and an assist, Boller added two goals and two assists, with John Hughes picking up the last goal and also adding an assist. Drew Blauvelt also added an assist to contribute to the scoring.
Behind a strong back line of Kobe Borntrager, Eli Ours, Jorge Canchola and Noah Miller the defense provided a strong foundation, thwarting Wapello’s attempts to push forward, and sending balls back forward to the IMS midfielders and forwards.
IMS moves to 6-1 on the season and 5-1 in the conference. IMS plays at Danville Tuesday.