IOWA CITY — If the Iowa City High boys’ soccer team plays defense like it did Thursday, it will be very tough to defeat.
“We came out strong, we competed well,” City High Coach Jose Michel Fajardo said after the Class 3A fourth-ranked Little Hawks shut out No. 6 Cedar Rapids Prairie, 2-0, in a Mississippi Valley Conference match at Iowa City High School. “We did well defensively against a good offensive team. They have a lot of good players going forward and I know that if we do well defensively, we will stay in games because we are a competitive team. We are very, very, very young, but we are very competitive.”
The defensive strength for City High (6-1, 2-0 MVC) has been built with a lot of new faces on the backline alongside defensive leader Adam Engelbrecht, a first team all-MVC selection last season. Senior Mason Priest was a midfielder last year, senior John Geerdes was a reserve and senior Andrew Tribbey is now seeing his first significant varsity action.
To top it off, senior goalkeeper Alex Greimann is a first-year starter.
“A lot of us play together on (Iowa Soccer) club, so we already had that chemistry,” Geerdes said. “It is just building during the season and it will keep building.”
The match was scoreless until the 46th minute when City High senior midfielder Lucas Ribble launched a strike from 75 feet away and the Prairie goalkeeper could not catch up to the ball.
“The ball came back to me and I obviously tried to put it on target,” Ribble said. “And it went in. It was good.”
The goal was the second this season for Ribble. Engelbrecht tacked on an insurance goal, his fourth this season, via a penalty kick in the 59th minute.
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The victory was City High’s third in a row since a narrow 1-0 loss to No. 3 Iowa City West. The Little Hawks will host No. 9 Bettendorf and No. 7 Pleasant Valley at their tournament Saturday.
Prairie is now 6-3 overall, 0-2 in the MVC.
AT IOWA CITY HIGH
Class 3A No. 4 Iowa City High 2, No. 6 Cedar Rapids Prairie 0
Goals — Lucas Ribble (2), Adam Engelbrecht (4).
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