No. 9 Comets lose tough HOIC battle with No. 7 Gilbert
GILBERT — A great start to the second half wasn’t enough to get No. 9 North Polk by No. 7 Gilbert in a Heart of Iowa Conference girls’ soccer showdown May 10 at Gilbert.
The Comets rallied from a 1-0 deficit to tie the game in the second half. But Gilbert overcame North Polk’s momentum and with three minutes left in regulation, the Tigers went on top to stay as they handed North Polk a 2-1 setback.
North Polk (10-2) had pulled even a little less than seven minutes into the second half after an Abigail Jaquis goal gave Gilbert a 1-0 lead at the break. Joy Smith netted the tying goal for North Polk when she broke down the Tiger defense and slipped one by keeper Erin Kimle.
The Comets continued to control possession for the next 15 minutes. During the 52nd minute, Smith was just wide after getting the ball on a break and 13 minutes later, Danielle Bonewitz had a direct kick snared by Kimle.
With four minutes left North Polk got a good look off a corner kick, but a Hannah Becker header was just off the mark.
Gilbert immediately moved the ball up field following Becker’s header attempt. At the 76:56 mark of the game, Jaquis followed up a ball and put it in the net to give Gilbert the lead.
“Good teams create good bounces like that,” North Polk head coach Jeff Anker said.
North Polk was unable to answer in the final three minutes as its eight-game winning streak was snapped.
“It could have gone either way tonight,” Anker said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way we wanted it to.”
Anker said a more consistent effort for the full 80 minutes could have made the difference against Gilbert.
“We’ve got to show up from the very start,” Anker said. “You just can’t spot a good team like this a point.”
But the Comet coach was happy with how his team responded in the second half.
“Twice we’ve come back from a point down,” Anker said. “The first one we won, this one we didn’t quite get there. But (Gilbert) is a quality team - it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
The loss put Gilbert atop the Heart of Iowa Conference ahead of North Polk and No. 5 Nevada. The Tigers improved to 10-1 overall.
Sawyer Elwell had three saves at keeper for North Polk and Kimle also ended up with three stops. Emily Branson and Olivia Stearns each had an assist for Gilbert.