HUXLEY - The strong leg of Samantha Mosher and the ability to control possession for most of the evening gave Ballard a 4-0 victory over Boone in the Class 2A regional quarterfinals of girls’ soccer May 24 at Rich Strouse Field in Huxley.
Mosher drilled two long shots into the net in the second half to break the game open after Ballard led 1-0 at the half. The win pits the Bombers against No. 14 Dallas Center-Grimes in the regional semifinals.
“It was exciting,” Ballard senior captain Cassie Smith said. “We had a little bit of confidence going in because we had beaten Boone before. This just keeps adding to the fire — we’re ready to go tackle DCG.”
An Olivia Dee score right in front of the Boone goal gave Ballard a 1-0 lead just before the end of the first half. The Bombers had dominated possession in the first half, but they had trouble finding holes in the Toreador defense.
In the second half, Boone continued to pack it in defensively and take away potential attacking lanes for Ballard. Mosher decided to change things up by attacking from outside and it paid off a little under 10 minutes into the second half.
Mosher got a ball from Karlee Emerson from just outside the 18 and nailed a shot right into the net for a 2-0 Bomber advantage.
“I knew we’d been passing around a lot and the passing was just not going in, so I thought I’d just take it as a shot,” Mosher said. “I kicked it as hard as I could and aimed for the goal.”
Boone continued to hang tough over the next 16 minutes. But Mosher struck again with 12:15 left in regulation when she scored directly off a corner kick.
“A lot of my shots, when I take them, they curve left,” Mosher said. “I knew I was standing on (the left) corner, so I thought if I kicked it, there’s a chance it would hook left. It did and it went right in the goal.”
That goal sealed the deal for Ballard. Morgan Gray scored directly off a long throw-in during the final minute to put the icing on the cake for the Bombers.
After concluding the regular season with five-straight losses, the win over Boone gave Ballard a huge confidence booster.
“I think we had a super-high possession rate this game,” Smith said. “We’re definitely going to need to possess the ball against DCG because they’re a pretty good team. Also, it was good we got some shots in. We had a ton of shots this game.”
Emerson finished the game with two assists. The Bomber defense pitched its fifth shutout of the season and victory put Ballard at 8-9 on the season.
Ballard 4, Boone 0
Boone 0 0 - 0
Ballard 1 3 - 4
Ballard - Olivia Dee (Karlee Emerson), 34:46.
Ballard - Samantha Mosher (Emerson), 49:37.
Ballard - Mosher, 67:45.
Ballard - Morgan Gray, 79:18.
HUXLEY - Ballard concluded the regular season with a 2-0 home loss to Winterset May 22 at Rich Strouse Field.
The Bombers only got off four shots on goal in the loss. Sydney Halverson tallied two shots on goal and Emily Johnson and Maria Stewart added one apiece.
Sierra Knight played fantastic at keeper in a losing effort. Knight made 17 saves on the night.
Addison Boyle and Emma Dole each had one goal for Winterset.