COUNCIL BLUFFS – Creston soccer was swept in its season opener Monday night, with both the boys and girls falling to St. Albert.
The boys lost 5-2 on a night where boys head coach Chad Malmanger says he didn’t know what to expect, but said the game showcased enough to tell the skipper what has in talent this season.
“I was kind of expecting just an all-around pretty good little program,” said Malmanger. “I’ve never done much with St. Albert, so I didn’t know much to expect. I just wanted our boys to come out and show what they had. ... I really needed to know what we had and I think tonight accomplished that.”
Notably, Malmanger said there’s some promise in the younger demographic.
“I see a lot of stuff that we can work on. I see a lot of promise in our younger athletes,” said Malmanger. “... I’ve got a couple of freshmen, you never know what you’re going to get with freshmen. ... I have a few that really filled into their own roles and I’m expecting a lot more out of them now that they showed me what they can do.”
The Panthers fell behind in the first half, but had two scores in the first 40 minutes to keep the game at a 3-2 score entering intermission. St. Albert scored in the 20th and 22nd minute, getting scores from Brayden Shepard to go ahead.
The message in the locker room for the Creston boys was to bounce back and find any way to get the game even at three.
“I told them, looking at what I saw, I didn’t think it was a 3-2 game,” said Malmanger. “I thought we very easily could have been up 3-2 ourselves. I asked them if they thought there was any way we could rebound and tie it back up and they thought we could. Turns out we didn’t put any in the back of the net, but we did a lot of good things where we can continue to build.”
Coming out of the break the Panthers struggled to hold back the Falcons, allowing two more scores. The game ended in the 5-2 final. St. Albert scored in the 69th minute to gain the lead and had a game-sealing score in the 73rd minute from Gavin McIntosh.
Aidan Anderson ended the game with the two goals scored for the Panthers, one coming off a penalty in the 13th minute and another coming off a feed from a teammate in the 19th minute.
“I think he did a heck of a job. He put a nice (penalty kick) in, ... and Clayton Stafford had a nice cross on a corner kick and he had a nice header in,” said Malmanger.
Andre Davis worked all 80 minutes in goal for the Panthers, allowing the five scores. Complete stats were unavailable.
Creston soccer hosts Chariton tonight (Tuesday) in its home opener for the spring season. Tip will come at 5:30 p.m. with junior varsity following.
Saintes too much for Creston
The Saintes were too much for the Panther girls fell to St. Albert in the season opener 8-1 Monday night.
The Saintes had a three-goal lead in the first half before opening the floodgates. The Panthers didn’t score in the first 40 minutes of play.
Knowing the Saintes typically bring out a good offense, Creston girls head coach Ryan Kissell felt
“They’re very clean in their touches and they pass the ball around really well. They’ve got some really good athletes up front that can score pretty much at will anywhere on the field. They’re just a very good team,” said Kissell.
The Saintes were able to play all 22 players, scoring in the second, 16th, 20th, 45th, 50th, 52nd, 55th and 67th minutes. Makenna Shepard scored four goals in the win, three coming in the first 20 minutes,
Even with the final score being lopsided, girls head coach Ryan Kissell feels good about where his team is at even with a few girls missing Monday’s game.
“Looking at the final score, even, I feel pretty good,” said Kissell. “It could have got a little bit more out of hand. Two or three of (the Saintes’) goals came off miscommunications and just an extremely well played game by St. Albert. ... We had them 3-0 at half, and had a missed (penalty kick) opportunities that could have made the score a little tighter, but I’m feeling pretty good about how the girls are playing right now.”
Sophomore midfielder Autumn Stafford scored the lone goal for the Panthers in a penalty kick in the 72nd minute. It’s the first goal of her high school soccer career.
Creston faced 36 shots on goal, stopping 28 of them, according to Kissell. Complete, official stats were unavailable at time of press.
The Panthers have some obvious places to clean things up going forward, starting on defense said Kisell.
“I think we [can] get some things cleaned up on defense and come out Thursday, work hard, and see what happens,” said Kissell. “... Our young players, they’re learning. Give it some more time, and we’re going to be OK. There are definitely some areas we need to clean up.