BELLEVUE - It didn’t take too long for fans to realize, the class 1A regional quarter-final playoff contest between visiting Anamosa and host Bellevue-Marquette Tuesday, May 28, was going to be a fierce battle.
Both teams started out the contest peppering goalies with shot attempts. The only question that remained? How many goals was it going to take for one team to keep their season alive and send the other home until next spring.
In the end, that answer would be one.
“I thought our girls did everything they needed to do to win this game,” said Raider girls soccer coach Tom Rogers, who saw his team’s season come to an end in heartbreaking fashion for a second year in a row after the Mohawks scored what proved to be the game-winning goal with 13:24 remaining in the contest.
“Our offense really attacked all game long, and our defense did a great job keeping the ball up on our offensive end most of the game. In the end it all came down to two big calls that made the difference between a 1-0 loss and a 1-0 win.”
The two teams battled to a first half tie, even though Anamosa attacked the Bellevue-Marquette net relentlessly.
Just 10 minutes into the second half, it appeared the Raiders had finally broken the ice, blasting a shot past the Mohawk keeper and seemingly had a 1-0 advantage.
But, not so fast.
After the Anamosa shot found the back of the Bellevue-Marquette net, and Raider girls began celebrating walking back to mid field, Mohawk coaches started complaining to officials that they felt Anamosa was off-sides.
After a brief delay, the officials changed the call and did not allow the Anamosa goal, keeping the game scoreless.
“We couldn’t do anything about that call,” Rogers said. “We just had to keep on playing. I was completely confident as well as we were playing that we’d be able to score another.
“It never happened.”
Visibly shaken after the controversial call, the Raiders rallied and attacked the Bellevue-Marquette net again.
“This was one of our best games of the year, and to walk off the field with a loss was hard for everyone to take,” Rogers said. “Bellevue-Marquette put a lot of pressure on our keeper too, but Jaiden was able to make a lot of great plays. Lily (Rogers) and Aly (Sayre) did a great job helping Jaiden out on defense, too.”
The two teams battled back and forth for the next 16 minutes after the disallowed Anamosa goal, and as dark storm clouds began to build in the west, it was the Mohawks who were able to get a shot into the goal as rain began to fall.
“We felt Bellevue-Marquette was off-sides on that goal, but this time a call didn’t come,” Rogers said. “Again, nothing we can do out it. Our girls stayed calm and composed and fought to the finish.”
Anamosa managed an impressive 33 shot attempts at the Mohawk goal led by seven off the foot of Dakota Bierer.
“Dakota was unbelievable in this game,” Rogers said. “The shots she was able to get off with so much of the Bellevue-Marquette defensive attention centered at her was really something to watch. That just shows what kind of ability she has to be able to handle that kind of pressure and still be able to help out her team.”
Zoey Peterschmidt added six shots for the visitors while Jesina Minger and Liz Riniker chipped in with four more each.
Neuhaus made 16 saves tending the Anamosa goal.
“I can’t wait for next year,” said Rogers, as his team wraps the 2019 season with a 5-12 overall record.
“We have almost everyone back, and our numbers are great. This program is going to continue to get better. We’ve got a lot of young talent, and mixed with the veterans we’ll have back next spring, I think 2020 could be one of the best girls soccer teams we’ve had in quite some time here at Anamosa.”