116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Ben Klein's header into the goal with 18 seconds left in the first half seemed to reverse the fortune of the two teams in Thursday's 3A quarterfinal at the boys state soccer tournament.
The score gave Ames a tie at half and more importantly the emotional lift it needed, as the Little Cyclones rode the wave to a 4-2 victory over defending state champion Linn-Mar.
'The guy marking me had missed the mark the last time when I ran to the back post,' Klein said. 'I ran to the front post the second time and I knew Felipe (Herrmann) was going to hit a good (corner) in there. I was wide open and I hit it right in.'
'That was huge excitement,' Ames defender Romarin Ngapouth said. 'Everybody was stepping on me so our other player was alone.'
Linn-Mar Coach Corey Brinkmeyer said that sort of late goal shouldn't happen.
'We should clear that out every time,' he said.
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Ames (16-3) was energized.
'It gave us a lot of momentum going into halftime,' Klein said. 'It gave us a lot more confidence, and they had their heads down going into the half. That changed the game quite a bit.'
Linn-Mar (16-5) took a 2-0 lead on goals by Blake Comstock and Devin Eby in the first 19 minutes. But Ames got one back in the 32nd minute on a charge by Tyler Griffin, and then Klein's shot changed everything.
Ames dominated possession the first 20 minutes of the second half.
'We kind of stopped connecting passes,' Brinkmeyer said. 'Second half they came out with a little more energy, and I don't know if we were tight or what. And even in parts of the first half. We played really well or not really well.'
Junior forward Divyesh Kumar scored in the 59th minute by dribbling through at least six would-be defenders and nudging the ball past the diving keeper. That gave Ames its first lead at 3-2.
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Linn-Mar had some shots in the following minutes, but didn't score. Then Kumar struck again on a through ball that he chipped over the oncoming keeper.
The Lions played all but 15 minutes without Comstock, who injured an ankle on his goal. His absence certainly didn't help the Lions' attack.
'We had our chances,' Brinkmeyer said. 'I think we let them get into our heads a little bit. This wasn't our best game, and to their credit they put in goals when they needed to.'