45-23-9 (.643) mark over past four seasons
PELLA-The Central College women’s soccer team won its fifth consecutive game on Thursday night with a shutout of Cornell College 2-0.
The streak is one win shy of the school record, which Central set last season.
The wind played a significant role early, gusting up to 20 miles per hour towards the north goal—the direction the Central offense was attacking in the first period.
After a handful of missed opportunities—including a missed penalty kick—the Dutch finally broke through in the ninth minute as a midfielder Gabrielle Muse’s (junior, Waukee) through ball snuck past three Cornell defenders and found forward Alayna Bailey (senior, Des Moines, Hoover HS), who finished the one-on-one chance to the far post. The goal was Bailey’s league-leading 10th of the season, while the assist was Muse’s team-leading fifth.
Despite a couple more one-on-one opportunities—including a shot by Bailey that struck the crossbar—the Dutch led by only one goal at halftime.
Early in the second period, forward Britt Hinton (junior, Davenport, West HS) connected with Bailey on a through ball and beat the Cornell back line. The defender caught Bailey in the box and was whistled for holding, giving Central its second penalty kick attempt of the game. This time the Dutch converted, as Hinton blasted a shot to the upper right-hand corner of the net for her fourth goal of the season.
“That was some of our best passing of the year,” coach Mike Kobylinski said. “Our movement off the ball was outstanding and our vibe before the game was top-notch. It carried over to the game. That is important to me as a coach. As long as we keep it up, we will have a lot of success. I am very pleased with the team effort.”
The Dutch dominated the stat sheet with significant advantages in shots (21-9), shots on goal (9-5) and corner kicks (4-1). Bailey led the Central attack with four shots, two on goal and one goal. The other 17 shots were spread out among eight players. Goalkeeper Sydney Lunardi (freshman, Bettendorf, Davenport Assumption HS) made five saves in her first complete shutout of the season.
Kobylinski praised the entire defense for shutting down the Cornell (3-5) offense.
“The back line was in the best shape that I have seen them all year,” said Kobylinski. “To single out a single player would be a disservice; all four of the starters and the substitutes played great. We only allowed a handful of shots on goal. It was a total team effort.
“My assistant coaches deserve a lot of credit. Russ Goodman trains the goalkeepers well and Katelin Gannon coached up the team mentally this week. Having such high quality assistants is a vital part of our program’s success.”
It is the fourth shutout in five games for the Dutch and the sixth of the season. Central has outscored its opponents 29-1 during the five-game winning streak
Central (7-2) celebrates homecoming and closes out its three-game homestand against Simpson (2-8) on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Dutch defeated the Storm twice last season—once in the regular season in Indianola and once in the Iowa Conference tournament in Pella. The game serves as the 2013 conference opener for both teams.
“We are on a nice streak, but Simpson will be ready to go on Saturday,” Kobylinski said. “Records are out the window as soon as you enter conference play. We need to focus on what we can control and play hard.”