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IOWA CITY – West High stopped a short two-match scoreless stretch last week with a pair of goals in a win over Class 2A top-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier.
However, the personal goal scoring drought for junior standout Gada Ambo carried into Tuesday’s home meeting with Linn-Mar.
After a goal in the season-opener Ambo had gone three matches without a score but changed that quickly on Tuesday.
Ambo scored five minutes into the game and rolled up three goals in a 6-1 win over Linn-Mar (2-4) at Barker Field.
“I have been on kind of a drought so I wanted one super bad tonight,” Ambo said. “I knew once I got one that it would come.”
Ambo scored twice in the opening half and completed the hat trick with in the 66th minute as Class 3A No. 12 West High improved to 3-2 on the season and 2-0 in Mississippi Valley Conference play with its second consecutive win.
Since back-to-back shutouts against Ankeny Centennial and Ankeny last month West High has outscored a pair of MVC opponents 8-2.
“The losses definitely woke us up,” Ambo said. “That showed us that we had to start over, it’s not last year, we have a new team and I think that woke us up.”
Ambo scored nine goals for West High two seasons ago as a freshman before moving to Kansas City for last season.
On Tuesday Ambo showed the type of dynamic scorer he can be with his first multi-goal match of the season.
“We have a bunch of young players and they just had to get used to playing together,” Ambo said. “I am getting some chemistry with them and I am getting to know them better. It took some time but we are getting comfortable.”
Ambo gave West High a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
The junior took a pass and beat Linn-Mar keeper Seth Lukefahr with a low shot that gave West High a jolt of early momentum it would never give up.
“The early goal helped quite a bit,” West High coach Brad Stiles said. “I think we went from one end of the field to the other in two or three passes and then Gada finished low and that kind of set the tone and helped a lot of our guys ease in.”
Just 12 minutes later Matthew McDonnell gave West High a two-goal cushion with his second goal of the season.
“He’s not necessarily the goal scorer but he’s a left footed player on the right side so the moment he put it on his left foot I said ‘this is going to have a chance’,” Stiles said of McDonnell. “He did what he is supposed to do.”
Ambo made it 3-0 West High at halftime with a second goal in the 28th minute.
West High quickly put the match away in the second half.
Sophomore Micah Frisbie made it 4-0 with a beautiful goal in the 50th minute.
Harry Zielinski fired a pass into the box and Frisbie used his foot to pop the ball into the air.
Before the ball could touch the ground Frisbie booted it out of the air and into the lower left corner of the goal.
“Harry just played it in and stuck my foot up and swung my foot at it and it went it,” Frisbie said. “I don’t think I could do it again righ
t now.”Ambo completed the hat trick with a goal in the 66th minute and Nadim Teghanemt capped the West High scoring with a goal in the 77th minute.
“We have a lot of new faces on the team and people are still learning but we have definitely grown over the past couple of weeks a
lot,” Frisbie said. “We are playing a lot better.”After playing its first three home games on the turf at Trojan Field West High got a win on its return to Barker Field on Tuesday.
“I was gearing myself up for a game on the turf and I had to shift gears,” Stiles said. “I’m so glad that they did what they had to do to get us on it.”