ALBURNETT — The Benton Community boys’ soccer team admits it went to their head a little bit.
A win at then-No. 2 Dyersville Beckman April 9 — their first in the rivalry — left the eighth-ranked Bobcats feeling a bit unbeatable. Three days later, they were shut out by Williamsburg.
“A loss is a loss. We’ve just got to keep looking to the next one with the mindset of we’re going to win,” Benton senior forward Justice Lamer said after the Bobcats posted their third shutout in a row, 9-0, over Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett Saturday at Martin Sports Complex. “We realized that we’re not invincible after beating a high-class team.”
Six different players scored goals for Benton (5-2), led by a hat trick from senior and first team all-Wamac honoree Vance Bartelt that included a penalty-kick score in the 17th minute that started the offensive onslaught. Bartelt leads the Bobcats with eight goals this season.
“The guys have responded really well,” Benton Coach Will Stockman said. “We’ve been pushing them that if you get a clean sheet, we’re in pretty good shape. Our keepers are playing well, our defense is playing well. Overall as a team, hopefully we’re rounding into shape right now.”
Lamer — also a first team all-Wamac selection last season — finished with two goals and two assists. Junior Jacob Thompson scored his first goal of the season, as did senior Jon Wiley, junior Jack Meade and freshman Luis Hernandez off the bench.
Senior Max Furman distributed two assists. He and Lamer lead the Bobcats with three this season. Juniors Zach Brecht, Jack Shaw and Nathan Simpson also tallied an assist.
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“We’re starting to be able to connect our passes and play as a team again,” Lamer said.
Beginning Tuesday against undefeated Center Point-Urbana, Benton will face three Wamac teams with winning records in an eight-day span, with a non-conference road game at Mid-Prairie sandwiched in. Benton hosts Independence on Friday, then visits 2A No. 4 Marion on May 1.
“We’re really getting into the meat of our schedule this week,” Stockman said. “If we play like we’re capable of, we’ll be in pretty good shape.”
Class 1A No. 8 Benton Community 9, Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett 0
Goals — Vance Bartelt 3 (8), Justice Lamer 2 (4), Luis Hernandez 1 (1), Jack Meade 1 (1), Jacob Thompson 1 (1), Jon Wiley 1 (1). Assists — Max Furman 2 (3), Justice Lamer 2 (3), Zach Brecht 1 (1), Jack Shaw 1 (1), Nathan Simpson 1 (1).
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