ANAMOSA - It didn’t matter to the Anamosa boys’ soccer team that visiting Mount Vernon had almost three-times as many shots as they did Thursday, April 15, what mattered to the Raiders was the quality of those shots.

      And those Anamosa blasts were of the highest quality, in what ended as a bitter 3-2 overtime setback against the Mustangs.

      “This was, by far, our best game of the year to date,” said Raider boys soccer coach Dr. Mike Weston. “I can’t compliment the effort by our defensive guys enough. Those boys played their hearts out and put in the effort to make things as tough as they could on Mount Vernon and keep us in the game with chances to win throughout.”

      Anamosa (0-4) got off to a rough start as the Mustangs quickly found the back of the Raider net a little over three minutes into the contest, but Robert Weaver quickly answered for the home team taking a pass from Jordan Brown and drilling the soccer ball into the Mount Vernon goal to even the score less than six minutes after the Mustangs’ score.

      About five-minutes later, the Raider offense went back to work again as Brown converted on a penalty kick to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.

      Unfortunately, it would be the final goal the Anamosa team would score in the game.

      “Landon Graham, Sean and Skylar Hollett and Andrew Thomas all did an amazing job on the defensive end of the field,” said Weston, as Mount Vernon out-shot the Raiders 30-11 in the game.

      “Ivan Lambertsen and Dominic Haas did a nice job dropping back and helping out on the defensive end of the field to keep us in this game. Mount Vernon’s offense kept attacking and our defense kept meeting the challenge. Nick Raine had some great saves, too. Everyone did their jobs to give us a chance to win this game, and we had that chance. We just couldn’t quite convert.”

      The Mustangs tied the game with 14-minutes remaining in the opening half and the score stayed 2-2 through the entire second half and through the first nine-minutes of the 10-minute overtime session before the Mustang offense finally broke through to win the game with one-minute left on the overtime clock.

      “Tough way to lose, but our boys have nothing to hang their heads about,” Weston said. “They played their hearts out and that’s all I can ask for. Our time is going to come.”

      Brown and Haas led the Raider offense drilling three shots each at the Mount Vernon goal while Max Geitzenauer and Skylar Hollett added two more each. Raine made 27 saves tending the Anamosa goal.

      The Raiders dropped a 6-1 final in the JV contest as Karter Theilen scored for the hosts cutting a 2-0 Mount Vernon lead in half.

      Anamosa keeper Hunter Ash tallied 13 saves.

      The Raiders’ busy week started Monday, April 12, with a lopsided 8-0 loss hosting a talented Cascade team.

      Anamosa hung tough to the half trailing just 2-0 at the break, but a 6-0 offensive outburst by the Cougars over the game’s final 40-minutes sealed the Raiders’ fate.

      “It was a very windy day and we had that wind at our backs in the first half hoping to be able to score a few goals and take an early lead,” Weston said. “We had some opportunities, but we just couldn’t get one past their keeper.”

      Cascade out-shot the Raiders 31-14, as Brown led the Anamosa offense with seven attempts at the Cougar net. Weaver and Lambertsen added two more each for the hosts while Raine made 23 saves.

      The week ended Friday, April 16, at West Branch, where a rough second half cost the Raiders in an 8-1 setback against the host Bears.

      “Playing the second of back-to-back games was tough, and we were on our heels most of the game,” Weston said. “We battled the best we could in the first half, but with West Branch being a big, physical team, that just took its toll on us, especially in the second half.”

      West Branch raced to an early 3-0 lead before Weaver headed a perfect corner kick pass from Brown into the Bears’ goal for the lone Anamosa score in the contest as the Raiders trailed 4-1 at the half.

      The Bears added four second half goals to blow the game open.

      “We just seemed to lose some of our legs in the second half and West Branch took advantage,” Weston said. “We had a couple of guys banged up in this game and that took its toll too. The younger guys who came in battled the best they could. Overall, I’m proud of the effort from everyone. They gave all they could.”

      Weaver led the six-shot Raider offense blasting three at the Bears’ goal while Brown tallied two more. Sean Hollett also came through with a shot for the Anamosa offense while Haas tended goal and made 11 saves.

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