142-76-14 (.642) record since 2001
STORM LAKE—Central College generated a swift response to an early Buena Vista goal and rolled to a 4-1 Iowa Conference men’s soccer win Saturday.
The victory, combined with Luther College's 1-0 overtime win over Coe College Saturday night, gave Central (9-9 overall, 3-5 conference) the final spot in the six-team league tournament. It's Central's eighth straight appearance in the conference tournament. First-round tournament games will be played Tuesday and Wednesday. As the No. 6 seed, Central will travel to Waverly to take on third-place Wartburg.
Buena Vista (1-16 overall, 0-8 conference) made some early noise with a goal in the eighth minute but at the 13:36 mark forward Jordan Appenzeller (freshman, Boone) scored his third goal of the year, assisted by sophomore forward Eric Shelton (Appleton, Wis., Kimberly HS).
Sophomore David Ziemann (Van Meter) made his first start in goal as Jonathan Glassman (sophomore, Lakeville, Minn., North HS) and Quincy Garner (junior, Pella) remain sidelined by injury.
“It was David Ziemann’s first start and he hadn’t faced a shot yet,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “He and the team hadn’t quite got the communication down.
“But we responded really well. Then once we took the lead, we were able to settle in and play our game.”
Central took the lead in the 32nd minute on a penalty kick by midfielder Jonathan Schroeder (sophomore, St. Charles, Ill., North HS), who converted for his fourth goal.
Shelton scored his first goal in the 57th minute, also on a penalty kick. Then sophomore forward Erik Johnson (Mankato, Minn., East HS) recorded his first goal as well in the 77th minute, assisted by defender Seth Metcalf (junior, Smithville, Mo.).
“Erik Johnson’s a great guy to have on the team, he brings great spirit,” Laidlaw said. “For him to get his first goal was special. The guys were really happy for him.
“Eric Shelton has done some great things on the field for us but just hadn’t found the back of the net yet.”
Central held a dominant 30-6 shot advantage.
Laidlaw liked the way his club closed the regular season after suffering eight of its nine losses by one goal and by enduring a series of injuries.
“It’s been a remarkable season with some of the adversity we faced,” he said. “You always have some adversity in a typical season but it seemed somewhat unbalanced this year. We played with every team in the league and to have so many go the other way is unusual.
“And we had the injuries on top of it but the players continued to be willing to try new things as we tried to adjust. I was pleased with the way they responded.”