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SOLON – Solon’s bid to return to the state soccer tournament took a big hit just seventy seconds into Saturday’s substate final against Iowa Mennonite.
Iowa Mennonite’s Jacob Boller got behind the Solon defense and buried a shot, capturing the momentum in the process.
Class 1A second-ranked Iowa Mennonite never let that momentum change sides as it downed No. 3 Solon 3-0 in the 1A, Substate 5 title game at Spartan Stadium.
“It’s been a problem of ours all year long, giving up early goals,” Solon coach Jeremy McMurrin said. “That just really sets the tone. Your heads drop, you try to battle back, but it’s just a big hole to dig out of and we never got out of it unfortunately.”
IMS continued to create scoring chances, and added to the margin in the 27th minute with a Louis Etienne goal off of a deflected shot.
The Spartans tried to push forward in the 95-degree heat, but struggled to control the ball on the offensive end of the turf.
“We just couldn’t get any passes connected,” McMurrin said. “And a lot of that’s about their defense and midfield. They just took that away from us and our passes, our combinations, they just weren’t there.
“It just wasn’t a good day offensively for us, and a lot of that has to do with IMS.”
Iowa Mennonite improved to 18-1 with the win and will face Des Moines Christian in the Class 1A state tournament on Thursday at 12:05 p.m.
Solon closed the season 15-6.
It was the final game for Solon seniors Isaac Vang, Nick Radcliffe, Michael Donnan, Logan Yakish, Eric Weetman and Ryan Sears.
The Spartans’ senior class went 31-12 over the past two seasons with a state tournament appearance a year ago.
“They’ve been awesome,” McMurrin said. “They’ve buckled down and stepped up on the field, off the field. Last year, second-most wins in school history. This year, third-most wins in school history. That’s a tip of the cap to them for the way they finished their careers.”