Strong Second Half Leads City High Past Ankeny in Season Opener

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Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – After having training time trimmed by a spring storm that dumped a thick blanket of snow nearly everyone in the City High boys soccer program expected a rocky start to the season.

City High got exactly what it expected in it’s season opener with Ankeny on Friday afternoon it just didn’t last for very long.

Class 3A sixth-ranked City High erupted for three goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half to break open a scoreless match on its way to a 3-1 win over Ankeny at Trojan Field at West High.

“Of course we got off to a slow start, we haven’t been able to practice real well the past week because of the snow and it’s hard to get the chemistry going,” City High junior Ben Steve said. “The first half we learned a lot of things about the other team and mostly about ourselves and the second half we had a plan and we went out there and did what we had to do.”

Steve snapped a scoreless tie with a goal five minutes into the second half and Amani Sila and Cameron Chavez each added goals in the ensuing 10 minutes as City High won its season opener at the West High tournament.

City High (1-0) will host 1A second-ranked Davenport Assumption (0-1) at 1:45 p.m. and Muscatine at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.

All games were originally scheduled to be played at West High but were moved to the City High turf due to the wet conditions from last week’s snow.

The Little Hawks showed little rust in Friday’s opener despite a relative lack of practice time.  

“For how much we have been working outside lately it’s almost impressive how good we looked at the beginning of the year,” City High coach Jose Michel Fajardo said. “The technical part and some of the moves are not there yet and you can see it but the way that they move, the way that they pressured, the way that they went after the game was pretty impressive for the first game of the year.”

It wasn’t all a thing of beauty on Friday.

City High missed on its two best scoring opportunities in a choppy first half.

“It happens every season,” Steve said of the slow start. “Last year we were in tight battles the first couple of games in games that we maybe should have won by more.”

The Little Hawks quickly found some rhythm after halftime.Steve, Sila and Chavez all scored in the o

pening 15 minutes as City High put the match out of reach.

“The first half we are getting everything out of the way, all the little kinks in the offense and defense and the second half I feel like we really put it all together,” Chavez said. “We started connecting the ball with the midfield, making good runs from the forwards and shots came and goals followed.”

Steve started the scoring settling a crossing pass at his feet 30 yards out before quickly slamming a shot into the upper right hand corner of the goal.

The blast from Steve put City High up less than five minutes into the half.

“I received the ball played from the other side and I chested it down and I put my eyes to the goal,” Steve said. “I saw the goalie was out a little bit and I knew I had to put the ball on target.”

The goal from Steve opened the floodgates.

Sila headed in a John Clark rebound to make it 2-0 seven minutes later.

Chavez got into the act less then three minutes later when he popped a shot over the keeper while standing parallel to the end line.

“It was a tight angle,” Chavez said. “A couple of minutes before Jose said that it’s time for me to get a goal. He said wake

up. I followed through with that run and I just put it toward goal and it ended up finding the net.”The second-half performance left the Little Hawks optimistic about the future that begins with a double-header on Saturday  

“I was really happy,” Chavez said. “The first half was o.k. but the second half we played fantastic. We really played our true potential and that we a state caliber team and since it’s the first game and we played so well in the first actual game I think it’s just going to continue from there and we are going to keep getting better and better.”