Prior to their trip to Des Moines, the Linn-Mar coaching staff told the team the following:
Congratulations once again! You can say that you are one of eight 3A teams to have made it this far, but there is more work to be done…I hope you’re like me and are not using this extension of our season as a means to take a day trip to Des Moines, and spend a night in a hotel without your parents…Please pack your bags and mentally prepare for THREE GAMES IN THREE DAYS.
The team not only rose to the challenge, but they exceeded the expectation of many. Many of our players were reminded, after the first game, that they had given Coach Lovell a goal sheet that they filled out back in November on the first day of our pre-season…Many of those goals were, in part, to win State. And now they had put themselves in a position to do so.
Recap of the Tournament
Game 1 (Quarter-final): Linn-Mar 2 | Dubuque Hempstead 0
- Previously, Hempstead had beaten the Lions 3-1, during the regular season, in Dubuque. It was the last time the Lions had lost a game this season.
- Ranked #3 in the last IAHSSCA Poll
Game 2 (Semi-final): Linn-Mar 2 | Johnston 1
- Linn-Mar lost to the Dragons last year in this same position, on an own goal.
- Johnston had gone 20-0 this season and had not given up more than one goal in a game, all year.
- Ranked #1 in the last IAHSSCA Poll
Game 3 (Final): Linn-Mar 2 | Ankeny Centennial 0
- This is just the 2nd year of the Jaguar’s existence; the two teams have not played each other before.
- Ankeny Centennial’s only loss came to Johnston, prior to meeting the Lions.
- Ranked #2 in the last IAHSSCA Poll
Deemed the “Revenge Tour” by the media through the first two games, the Lions had deep motivations to beat Hempstead and Johnston because of their recent history. But when it came to the final vs Centennial, who needs revenge to motivate you when you are playing for your school’s first State Championship in that sport.
Over the course of the three day tournament the Lions stats vs their opponents were as follows:
- Goal Differential: 6-1
- Goals: Leroy Enzugusi (2), Ben Johnson, Daniel Luzindya, Jack Ramsey, and an opponent’s own goal
- Assists: Daniel Luzindya, Ben Johnson, Leroy Enzugusi, Hunter Wong, Jonny Williams, Nathan Luzindya, Jared Slagle
- Goalkeeper: Phil Adams, 3-0, 2 shutouts, 9 saves (including 2 penalty kick saves)
- Shots on Goal/Shots: LM- 23/48 | Opponents-11/36
- Corner Kicks Taken: LM-13 | Opponents-20
- Goal Kicks Taken: LM-28 | Opponents-23
- Fouls Committed: LM-46 | Opponents-34
The following were members of the All-Tournament Team and what they did to earn these honors:
- GK, Phil Adams (SR) > 3-0, 2 shutouts, 2 penalty kick saves, aggressive play denying more shot opportunities by the opponent
- MF/FW, Ben Johnson (SR) > Game-Winning Goal vs Hempstead, Assist vs Ankeny Centennial, Approx 180 minutes played (240 total minutes played), set the tone/led the team in physical/aggressive play
- MF/FW, Leroy Enzugusi (SO) > Game-Winning Goal vs Johnston, Game-Winning Assist vs Hempstead, Goal vs Centennial, brings speed and ability to break down defense in 1 v 1 situations
- DEF, Jack Ramsey (JR) > All-Tournament Team Captain, Goal vs Johnston, led the team in minutes played as a field player, seemed to win nearly all balls in the air in the defensive third.
*Overall it was an amazing season that culminated in an amazing post-season run that ended with the school’s first State Soccer Championship:
- The Lions beat their opponents by a total score of 12-2 during the post-season
- They won their last 10 games in a row
- They finished the season with 20 wins and 3 losses: the most wins in the school’s history
- They repeated as both the LM Challenger Cup Champions and MVC-Valley Division Champions
Take a look back at our postseason below. Thanks to all who shared photos to make this video possible.
- Music: I Lived by One Republic, © 2014
TopDrawerSoccer.com ranked the Lions in the following categories:
- 43rd in the Nation this spring
- 1st in the Midwest region
- 1st in Iowa (across all 3 classes)
The NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) ranked the Lions in the following categories:
- 11th in the Nation this spring
- 2nd in their region (Region III)