MARION — The teams were separated by just one spot in the latest girls’ soccer rankings, but there was little doubt which had the superior squad.
Class 3A No. 11 Linn-Mar scored three goals in an eight-minute span in the second half and routed 10th-ranked Iowa City West, 5-0, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game Tuesday night at Linn-Mar Stadium.
“We just have a great group right now,” Linn-Mar Coach Marco de Leon said. “Everyone is just playing as one. We have some great leaders on the team and they’re doing a great job of making sure that happens.”
Linn-Mar (2-0, 2-0 MVC) displayed a loose, aggressive style of soccer from beginning to end. After falling two wins short of a state-tournament berth last season, a strong aura of confidence is evident from every name on the roster. This bunch believes they are capable of big things.
“Everyone has worked very hard over the offseason,” said senior midfielder Annika Menges, who got the scoring started with a 75-foot strike off a corner assist by senior Katherine Widmer in the 14th minute. “I think everyone is ready to get out there and go for the win.”
The second-half barrage started less than two minutes in with a beautiful assist from sophomore forward Piper Carey to freshman forward Hallie Peak. Four minutes later, Carey scored from 60 feet away, which preceded an even-longer rocket from sophomore defender Maddi Fisher for a 4-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the second half.
“Scored a goal, took more shots,” Carey said. “I didn’t really take shots last year. Just taking more shots this year.”
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Sophomore reserve defender Ashlee Haumesser tacked on the final score with 8:12 to go and much of the Linn-Mar second unit on the field.
After losing 70 percent of its 2017 scoring production due to graduation, West (0-3, 0-1 MVC) has yet to score in three losses.
Seven different Linn-Mar players have accounted for 11 goals through two shutouts. Menges and Peak have scores in each contest, while Carey has one assist in both.
Class 3A first team all-state honoree and Creighton commit Abigail Santana posted her third assist of the season, while Haumesser, Peak and junior midfielder Samantha White recorded their first.
Linn-Mar will play Cedar Rapids Washington at Kingston Stadium on Thursday, while West hosts Dubuque Hempstead.
“Our confidence has gotten way high,” Carey said. “Winning two games at the very beginning of the season. Our mindset just keeps going higher.”
AT LINN-MAR STADIUM
Class 3A No. 11 Linn-Mar 5, No. 10 Iowa City West 0
Goals — Annika Menges 1 (2), Hallie Peak 1 (2), Piper Carey 1 (1), Maddie Fisher 1 (1), Ashlee Haumesser 1 (1). Assists — Katherine Widmer 1 (1), Piper Carey 1 (2), Abigail Santana 1 (3), Ashlee Haumesser 1 (1), Hallie Peak 1 (1).
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