Prep Soccer

Fabulous freshman Ayi Ajavon has Iowa City Liberty boys' soccer ahead of schedule

First-year Lightning team improves to 8-6 behind Ajavon, who has scored six goals during current three-game win streak

Iowa City Liberty Lightning
Iowa City Liberty Lightning

CORALVILLE — The roster is comprised entirely of freshmen and sophomores.

As a result, there are plenty of opportunities for players to make a name for themselves during the debut season of Iowa City Liberty boys’ soccer.

Freshman Ayi Ajavon is standing out not just amongst his teammates. His impact is being felt across all of Class 2A.

“He’s had a heck of a season,” Liberty Coach Ben Watson said after Ajavon scored two goals for the third game in a row and the Lightning shut out Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett, 4-0, Monday at Coralville Youth Sports Complex. “He’s just got a knack for scoring. You can tell it in practice every single day. As soon as he sees the goal, I think he relaxes. That’s a huge key as a lot of guys get in front of the goal and they tense up as they think this is their big chance for a goal. He’s calm, he sees where the opening is and just slots it home.”

With six goals in his last three games — all Liberty wins — Ajavon is ranked fifth in Class 2A with 16 scores this season.

“I’m trying to play good and help the team out,” said Ajavon, who moved to Iowa four years ago from the West African nation of Togo.

Liberty (8-6) appears to have rebounded from a four-game losing streak that began after a season-ending injury to freshman center midfielder Kolby Godbolt, who contributed nine goals and two assists in just five games this season.

“It’s been an adjustment,” said Watson, a Cedar Rapids Jefferson alum who was an assistant with the Cedar Rapids Washington girls’ team last season. “We’ve had to kind of fill in there.”

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Ajavin scored twice in the first half against CVC/Alburnett, while sophomore Idris Kecira posted his first goal of the season just before halftime.

Junior Mohemed Yogue closed out the Liberty scoring with a second-half goal, his fifth this season.

“We’re all great players, trying to adapt to the pace,” Ajavon said. “More team chemistry together. We’ve been playing for a long time now. It’s been better.“

Sophomore Jordan Barry and freshmen Luke Nichols and Faraja Kasongo each tallied an assist.

AT CORALVILLE

Iowa City Liberty 4, Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett 0

Goals — Ayi Ajavon 2 (16), Idris Kecira 1 (1), Mohemed Yogue 1 (5). Assists — Jordan Barry 1 (4), Luke Nichols 1 (1), Faraja Kasongo 1 (1).

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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