Panthers win Winterset tourney title

Published: Sunday, April 20, 2014 11:53 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 21, 2014 12:33 p.m. CDT
(Contributed photo)
The Creston Panthers won the Winterset Invitational championship Saturday. Members of the team are, from left in front, McClain Haines, Caleb Cramer, ball boy McCoy Haines, Ben Irr, Conner Pals, Trevor Frain and Gavin Leith. Middle row, Levi Eblen, Connor Kinkade and Gavin Woods. Back row, coach Jesus Rodriguez, Tayler Pettit, Kyle Jennett, Brant Hudson, Skylar Cook, Kaleb Cook, Alex Nielsen, Jake Miller, Zack Peppmeier and assistant coach Lucian Diaconu.

WINTERSET — Creston got a surprise first-round matchup, but withstood the challenge for yet another overtime victory on the way to capturing the championship of the Winterset Soccer Tournament Saturday.

Indianola was a new team in the field this year, and the Class 3A school coached by a former colleague of Creston coach Jesus Rodriguez posed a formidable challenge.

The Indians first broke the scoreless tie in the second half, but the Panthers responded to tie it as McClain Haines beat the Indianola defense and shot it past the goalkeeper for a goal.

Haines then scored with six minutes left in overtime to give the Panthers their third overtime win of the week.

“I told the guys, whoever won that first game of the tournament, would probably be favored to win the championship,” Rodriguez said. “I told coach (Diaconu) that we have a better team than people think. We created opportunities and set the tempo.”

Grant Webster, Indianola coach, was a senior on the Graceland University team when Rodriguez, a former Graceland player, was serving as an assistant coach for the Yellowjackets.

“They are well-coached, and they had a really good center mid,” Rodriguez said. “We could not let him turn and shoot. Our defense the past few games has carried us, and that’s without (Tayler) Pettit. Trevor Frain was playing center back and he is hard to go by.”

Rodriguez said Pettit will likely return a week from tonight at Atlantic, to start a rugged week that also includes matches against Lewis Central and Glenwood.

Winterset beat Oskaloosa 3-1 in the other first-round match Saturday.

In the championship round, Creston dominated the action in shutting out the Huskies, 3-0.

Winterset fell to 2-4 with the loss.

“We capitalized with the wind in the first half and scored all three of our goals, all by Conner Pals,” Rodriguez said. “If Conner had scored one more, he would have tied his brother Seth for most goals in a match. We started subbing in the second half to get everybody in, and it’s been a long week for the guys with so many overtime matches.”

Two of Pals’ goals came on set pieces off corner kicks by Ben Irr.

The week included overtime wins over Class 1A ninth-ranked Underwood and a Denison-Schleswig team that had gotten ratings votes in Class 2A.

The Panthers (6-1) host Nodaway Valley tonight in JV and varsity action.

First round

Creston 2, Indianola 1 (OT)

Creston (2) — McClain Haines (Ben Irr assist), 11:00 first half; Haines (Conner Pals assist), 6:00 overtime. Shots — 16 (4 on goal). Individual shots — Brant Hudson 1 (1 on goal), Gavin Leith 1, Levi Eblen 2, Ben Irr 4 (3 on goal), Haines 3 (2 on goal), Pals 5. Keeper saves — Alex Nielsen 3. Cards — None.

Indianola (1) — Goal in second half. Shots on goal — Not available.


Creston 3, Winterset 0

Creston (3) — Conner Pals (Ben Irr assist corner kick), 17:00 first half; Pals (Irr assist corner kick), 7:37 first half; Pals penalty kick, 5:59. Shots — 15 (8 on goal). Individual shots — Ben Irr 3 (1 on goal), McClain Haines 3 (3 on goal), Pals 6 (4 on goal), Skylar Cook 1, Jake Miller 1. Keeper saves — Alex Nielsen 3. Cards — None.

Winterset (0) — Shots on goal — 8. Keeper saves — Will Elderkin 7.

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