ALLEMAN - A quick goal set the tone, and a dominant midfield and defense did the rest as North Polk blanked Newton, 2-0, in a battle of two top-10 girls’ soccer teams Friday in Alleman.
North Polk, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A, dominated possession for nearly the entire game to earn its seventh shutout victory in a row.
“We knew we weren’t going to have easy goals, so we’ve been really trying to get our combination up top and figuring out our passing sequences,” North Polk senior center-midfielder Courtney Bonewitz said. “I think we did better at that this game.”
Bonewitz got North Polk on the board just 42 seconds into the game. Emily Washington got off a great look that was deflected by Newton keeper Ashlee Freese, but Bonewitz was there to follow it up into the net.
“We knew we had to go out and score right away to get the lead,” said Bonewitz. “Last time we played them they sort of came back on us. We wanted to make sure we came out and got the lead right away.”
North Polk continued to control possession throughout the first half. All-state forward Joy Smith made a great run a little over 23 minutes into the game — blowing by the Cardinal defense to chip a short 2-yard shot past Freese for a 2-0 Comet advantage.
Smith’s services were cut short when she had to leave for tumbling with 23 minutes left in the second half.
“Every year (around) this same week she has tumbling a bunch — she’s amazing at tumbling too,” Bonewitz said. “We didn’t have little Joy Joy to put in some goals for us.”
But it didn’t matter as North Polk continued to outplay Newton defensively and at midfield for the rest of the game.
“We get up on their offensive players and don’t let them turn so we can get the ball easily,” North Polk center-back Maddy Hill said. “The defense’s goal is to not let them score and we were successful tonight.”
Newton rarely got a decent look against the Comet defensive backfield. The Cardinals had one good look during the 55th minute that was off the mark, and they were called for offsides on another good run with five minutes remaining.
The victory put North Polk at 8-2 on the season. Newton fell to 7-2.