I got a chance to make it to the girls opener last Thursday. It was fun to watch them beat Marshalltown. I don’t think we ever beat Marshalltown like that when I was coaching. They played well together and had some fun at the same time. I also can’t remember starting off the season undefeated. I know we played Ames first for 3 years and I’m thinking we played at a Valley tournament and got beat by a Council Bluffs team my first year. My second year we won at Valley’s tournament, but I can’t remember if it was the first game or not. Either way to start the season with a win against a 2A team from the CIML is pretty good. It’s a great confidence builder, especially after losing a key player during the week before the game. They are playing well for the new coach and I think he made a good debut also. He is very positive in the paper and I can tell he has a lot of faith in this team and program. I’m glad to see that. We made it to the game, just barely after it started and I spent most of the game talking to the Athletic Director and Marshalltown’s previous coach, then some of the parents, but I was glad to be back. Afterwards some of the girls said hi and were excited to see us. They asked about the wedding and thanked us for coming, it was fun.
They also mentioned the Pella game coming up. Pella is the only team from the Little Hawkeye conference that we haven’t beat yet. It seems like we outplay them every year, but just can’t finish. They usually have a few really good players and control the ball well. They also have a big field, and just like that other team from Pella, it seemed like we always played at their place. They hire local officials and you can never get a break there. My last year coaching there, the college coach from town was the official, so you know he was trying to help out the local girls and get them to his school, it was so frustrating. I did like Pella’s coach though. I didn’t talk to him much, but he was a good guy at the all-conference meeting. So Newton played at Pella again on Tuesday and from everything that I heard, they outplayed them and were in it the whole time, jut had 1 minor let down and Pella squeeked a goal in during the last couple minutes of the first half. I’m proud of the way they played, that’s a tough game to have this early in the year. They are just getting used to a new system and Pella is ranked, and they were able to hold them to 1 goal. Pella only beat us by 1, but we allowed 3 goals. So they are going to have an uphill climb on winning conference and need some help from other teams, but it’s definately possible. I think they can win the rest of their games, they just need someone to beat Pella. Last year I wasn’t as confident, don’t get me wrong, I still think they can beat anyone on a given day, but I drove down on a Tuesday to watch it last year and left with a bad taste in my mouth. It just didn’t feel like they were playing together or were that confident in themselves and the program. This year it’s totally different, they have great senior leadership and those seniors think that’s going to be their last loss. I wouldn’t want to be one of the next couple teams to play them. I’m hoping I can make it back to a few games, but it’s going to be a busy spring/summer leading up to our wedding.
Best of luck to the Cardinals, I’ll be following from 175 miles away. Here’s a couple links to stories about the team and the first couple games. If they links are broken, I can get you a pdf copy of the story. If I missed an article somewhere, be sure to let me know.