Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT - Both games in Monday's season-opening soccer doubleheader between Mt. Pleasant and Columbus/Winfield-Mt. Union ended in a shutout, but it was a different team doing the skunking. The Mt. Pleasant girls ran past Columbus/WMU 9-0, but the Wildcats got revenge in the boys game, taking it 4-0.
The Mt. Pleasant girls jumped all over Columbus/WMU early, though Columbus goalkeeper Emma Haines turned away shot after shot in the first 25 minutes to keep it scoreless.
Mt. Pleasant's first goal came from New London prep Elly Manning, who sifted through the Wildcat defense to net one with 24:05 in the first half. The rare send over form the Mt. Pleasant-New London girls soccer co-op would score three goals in the game, quite the boost from nine miles down Highway 34.
'Soccer has been my favorite sport since I was little,” said Manning, a sophomore playing in her first high school game. 'The girls have all been super supportive, so it has been easy to flow right into it.”
Manning wasn't the only Panther to net a hat trick, in fact there were three. Anna Ostby scored two goals in the first half and one in the second, and Andrea Lopreato went from playing goalkeeper in the first half to scoring three second-half goals.
'It was really good to be able to see them communicate with each other,” said first year Panther girls coach Auybriana Johnson. 'I was very happy.”
Lopreato and Andi Scott combined for the shut out in net.
When the boys game rolled around, it was time for the Wildcats to enact some revenge. Columbus/WMU took the lead in the blink of an eye when Gary Molina found the back of the net in the first five minutes of the ballgame.
Mt. Pleasant goalkeeper Logan Lee had to make a myriad of tough saves to keep the Panthers in it, but Columbus still put two more in before the first half was over. Marco Martinez scored with 31:17 left in the first half, and Gabriel Alcala popped one over Lee's head to make it 3-0 with 9:14 showing on the clock.
Mt. Pleasant threatened to cut the lead to two goals in the first seven minutes of the second half. Rumaldo Motta Rivera had a good look from the corner of the box with 33 minutes remaining, but the ball hit crossbar and Columbus preserved its shutout.
The Wildcats would put an exclamation point on the game with just under seven minutes left in the game. Yahir Ayala popped a ball over Lee's head on a deep shot with 6:52 on the clock.
'We were pretty eager to get back on the field,” said Columbus boys coach Luis Cacho. 'They showed that today.”
Mt. Pleasant boys coach Neil Schmitz said thought his team improved from its preseason scrimmage at Oskaloosa, but said the visiting Wildcats just had too much speed.
'They were just a lot faster than we were tonight,” Schmitz said. 'They were very aggressive to the ball.”
Mt. Pleasant will be back on the soccer pitch on Thursday when the boys' team hosts Keokuk and the girls' team travels to Fort Madison. Columbus will travel to Wapello for a girl-boy doubleheader on Friday.