ANAMOSA - It’s all a part of the process that Anamosa boys soccer coach David Stemper hopes will take his program to the next level.
That level is becoming a consistent winner, a place the Raider program has experienced in the past, and would like to again.
Anamosa built an impressive 3-0 halftime lead hosting Clinton Prince of Peace Tuesday, April 30, and stretched it to 4-0 in the second half before closing with a 4-1 win.
“Our aggressiveness to the ball in this match was the best I have ever seen,” Stemper said. “We controlled things most of the way until we let up a bit in the second half holding that 4-0 lead.”
Maverick Tjaden got the scoring started just 11-minutes into the match before Matthew Walton extended the Anamosa (3-10, 1-3) advantage scoring as goal off a perfect corner kick from Tjaden.
With just 5:54 to play in the half the hosts scored again, and again it was Walton who found the back of the Irish net thanks to an assist from Tucker Jones.
Josiah Sims added even more insurance for the Raiders scoring a goal with 16:40 to play with Walton assisting.
Tjaden and Walton powered a 13-shot Anamosa offense coming through with five each while Sims tallied two more.
D.J. Reese made 11 saves tending the Raider goal before giving way to Joel Ellis who made one save.
Just 24 hours earlier Anamosa hosted Bellevue-Marquette Monday, April 29, and came up on the short end of a 5-2 score.
Walton got the crowd on their feet early blasting a shot past the Mohawk keeper a mere 33-seconds into the match, with help from a Tjaden assist, but the visitors answered scoring two straight goals taking a 2-1 advantage into the halftime break.
“I don’t think Marquette was ready for Matthew’s speed,” Stemper said. “He didn’t play in our first meeting with them and he came out and attacked immediately.”
Walton scored again at the 23:49 mark of the second half to knot the game at 2-2, but Bellevue-Marquette had the final say tallying the game’s final three goals, the last coming with a mere 40-seconds left on the clock.
Walton’s four shots paced a 12-shot Raider attack while Tjaden, Nathan Hollett and Sims all came through with two shots each for the hosts.
“This was a match that kind of got away from us,” Stemper said. “It was a pretty even the whole way but once Marquette got the lead in the second half we started pushing up to get more bodies on the offensive end and that allowed them to score their last two goals to pull away.”
Reese made 13 saves.
The Anamosa home stand continued Thursday, May 2, and without one of their top players succumbed to a narrow 2-1 defeat hosting Denver.
“We’re a different team when Matthew’s not out there,” said Stemper, as Walton was with the track and field team in Camanche competing at the River Valley Conference meet.
“We had to make some adjustments and the kids battled the best that they could, but we came up just a little bit short.”
To make matters even worse, two Anamosa starters were lost to injury during the match.
“Ivan Lambertsen and Landon Graham were taken out by an aggressive Denver player and that made things that much more challenging for us,” Stemper said. “We made a couple of mistakes on defense that cost us both of the goals Denver scored.
“This was a match that we let get away from us, even with the obstacles we had to overcome.”
Denver broke a scoreless tie scoring the game’s first goal at the 26-minute mark of the second half then scored again six minutes later.
Anamosa answered when Robert Weaver blasted a shot past the Cyclone goalie with 17:45 to play.
Sims led an eight-shot Raider offense firing three at the Denver net while Weaver tallied two more.
The busy week concluded with Anamsoa taking part in a round-robin tournament at Vinton-Shellsburg Saturday, May 4, opening with a 1-0 loss against the host Vikings.
Vinton-Shellsburg scored the game’s only goal with 8:17 to play in the first half and limited the Raider offense to a mere three shots, while firing 23 of their own at the Anamosa net.
Reese made an impressive 22 saves in the match.
The tournament came to a close with a 7-0 loss against Gladbrook-Reinbeck, who out-shot the Raiders 13-4 and led 3-0 at the half.
“We played right with this very good Gladbrook-Reinbeck team for much of the first half,” Stemper said. “Then we lost Maverick to a sprained ankle with about 10-minuites to go in the first half, and that seemed to really get them going.”
“We struggled to slow them down after that.”
Walton fueled the Anamosa offense firing three of the team’s four total shots.