The opening weekend of IAHSAA competition saw the Lions once again travelling to Iowa City, to the prestigious Trojan Classic, hosted by Iowa City West. Due to the recent weather, late changes were made to the schedule, and moved some of the games to City High, where a second turf field could be utilized. The Lions faced two strong CIML teams, who are currently ranked in the Top 20 by the IAHSSCA (Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association).
vs Urbandale (#8)
In the first official game of the season, the Varsity team faced an unknown opponent from Central Iowa; Linn-Mar and Urbandale have never crossed paths before. The Lions started quickly and appeared to control play early on, even getting a couple of good looks at the J-Hawk goal, before Urbandale took advantage of some untimely Linn-Mar mistakes. Urbandale’s first goal came as a result of a poor clearance, inside of the 18-yard box. They doubled their lead with the first of two consecutive penalty kicks (one in each half). And a late 2nd half goal made it a 0-4 loss to start the season.
Despite the lopsided score, the Lions effort was very good, and the score was not indicative of the performances on the field. The team was reminded that this was only their 4th day together, outside, on a full field. Man of the Match – Patrick Talley (Sr).
vs Ankeny Centennial (#11)
The last time the Lions faced the Jaguars, Linn-Mar was hoisting the 2015 3A State Championship trophy, shutting out their opponent 2-0, to win their first and only State Title. But few players are left from those teams, and the fresh Linn-Mar faces struggled to contain a potent Centennial offense, who was looking to win their third game of the weekend. The Jags scored once in the first half and twice in the second to give the Lions their second shutout loss of the day. Final score, 0-3.
Again, similar to their earlier game, the Lions played much better than they score would indicate. The Lions had a couple of good looks at goal, but were obviously unsuccessful at making them count. As most teams do at this point in the season, the Lions need to iron out some parts of their game before they play again (next Thursday, at CR Prairie). Man of the Match – Andrew Christopher (So).