DYERSVILLE — Suddenly, plenty of opportunities lay before the Benton Community boys’ soccer team.
A three-score loss and two postponements afforded the Class 1A 10th-ranked Bobcats a valuable opportunity to regroup. The result was a landmark victory.
“Benton has never beat Dyersville (Beckman),” Benton Coach Will Stockman said after the Bobcats did just that, 2-1 in a shootout, over the second-ranked Blazers in a Wamac Conference game Monday night at Beckman High School. “So this one meant a lot to them.”
Beckman (1-1, 1-1 Wamac) got on the scoreboard first with a header by junior Seamus O’Connor off an assist by sophomore Michael Keegan in the 23rd minute.
The one-score lead appeared to many as if it would hold up, but Benton senior midfielder Vance Bartelt split the Beckman defense with a 60-foot dribble and strike with 8:22 left in regulation.
“I saw an open space,” Bartelt said. “We just kept pushing the whole game. I saw an opportunity and I knew I would have to take advantage of it.”
Benton (2-1, 1-0 Wamac) had not played since a 4-1 loss at Newton March 31.
After two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods, the focus shifted to Benton sophomore goalkeeper Ian Rupp, who was tasked with holding down Beckman in penalty kicks. Rupp responded with saves on two of the first four Beckman attempts.
“All I’m thinking is I have to look at their hips and if I see them go one way, I try and block it,” Rupp said.
Benton junior Zachary Brecht clinched the victory with a fourth penalty-kick conversion.
The Bobcats visit No. 16 Williamsburg on Thursday, while Beckman hosts fourth-ranked Solon Friday in its third game in a row against a ranked opponent.
Class 1A No. 10 Benton Community 2, No. 2 Dyersville Beckman 1
(Benton won shootout, 4-3)
Goals — DB: Seamus O’Connor 1 (1), BC: Vance Bartelt (3). Assist — DB: Michael Keegan 1 (1).
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