MOUNT VERNON — When you have the best goal-scoring duo in the state, comebacks can be had.
The Class 2A No. 2 Marion Indians were on the wrong end of a pair of two-goal deficits Tuesday, yet rallied with five goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half to overpower No. 15 Mount Vernon, 5-3, and win its first Wamac girls’ soccer division title in 17 years.
“My overall dream,” Marion senior forward Naomi Smith said. “I have always wanted to get another number back on our banner. … All of us are beyond thrilled to be able to do this for our program and for our coach, who absolutely has pushed us to this level.”
Mount Vernon (10-4, 4-1 Wamac) earned a 2-0 halftime lead with goals from freshmen Maia Bentley – her 24th this season – and Anna Hoffman, but Marion (12-1, 6-0) outscored the Mustangs 4-1 between halftime and the 60-minute mark.
Smith got the scoring started for Marion less than a minute into the second half, but Mount Vernon extended its lead to 3-1 within a minute. Goals by sophomores Grace Coates, Ana Schuttloffel and two more from Smith gave Marion (12-1, 6-0) its second conference crown in the 20-year history of the program.
“It means so much,” Coates said. “Because we have been working so hard. … It was really nice to be able to get that accomplishment.”
The hat trick was the fifth this season for Smith, and her 23 goals overall rank seventh in 2A and is tied for 12th across all classes. Coates’ goal was her 25th, which is tied for seventh in the state.
No pair of teammates have scored more goals this season.
“In 14 years of coaching soccer, I have never had two forwards like that,” 10th-year Marion Coach Erik Trilk said. “You just don’t see it happen and they are so complementary. Grace is so strong, but has that speed component and Naomi is just faster than just about anyone on the field.”
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Marion will close the regular season at Clear Creek Amana next Tuesday, then host the winner of Keokuk and Iowa City Liberty is a 2A regional semifinal on May 28.
AT MOUNT VERNON
Class 2A No. 2 Marion 5, No. 15 Mount Vernon 3
Goals — MAR: Naomi Smith 3 (23), Grace Coates (25), Ana Schuttloffel (6); MV: Maia Bentley (24), Anna Hoffman (14).
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