CENTER POINT — Despite back-to-back losses to highly-ranked teams, the Williamsburg boys’ soccer team is undeterred.
After starting the season with eight wins in a row, the Class 1A third-ranked Raiders lost to 2A No. 2 Marion in overtime, then fell on penalty kicks to 1A No. 4 Iowa Mennonite, both in a span of five days.
“After those two losses, we took it as a wake-up call,” said Williamsburg junior Leighton Jones, who scored the only goal in a 1-0 Wamac Conference victory over 2A No. 13 Center Point-Urbana Wednesday at Fross Park. “We’re going to get up, get better and work on our postseason.”
The goal in the 52nd minute was the second this season for Jones, and the victory was the eighth shutout for Williamsburg (9-2, 8-1 Wamac). The Raiders will host Mount Vernon on Thursday, then visit 1A No. 2 Solon on Tuesday.
“It’s good to stay with quality opponents here and continue to fight it out this time of year,” Williamsburg Coach Ryan Sauser said. “It’s good preparation for the postseason.”
This postseason could be an especially significant one for Williamsburg, which has never reached the state tournament. The Raiders were bounced by eventual state champion Iowa City Regina in last year’s regional final.
“We came close last year, so we don’t want that to happen again,” said Williamsburg sophomore Matt Cronquist, who has posted six goals and a team-high 11 assists this season. “We want to take pride in our school and make them proud of us. We’re going to try our hardest to make it through substate and make it to the state tournament for the first time.”
This year, Williamsburg is the highest-ranked team in a seven-team substate field that begins play on May 21. The next-highest ranked team is No. 11 Benton Community, which Williamsburg defeated, 1-0, on April 12.
No. 13 North Polk, Albia, Centerville, Chariton and Pella Christian complete the substate bracket, with pairings to be announced soon by the Iowa High School Athletic Association.
The loss was the third in four games for CPU (7-3, 6-3), which hosts Anamosa on Friday.
AT CENTER POINT
Class 1A No. 3 Williamsburg 1, 2A No. 13 Center Point-Urbana 0
Goal — Leighton Jones 1 (2).
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