By Doug Brenneman, JOURNAL Sports Editor
KALONA ? Sometimes there are occasions in sports when timing is everything, in fact most of the time. Tyler Swantz has only scored three varsity goals in his life, but that third one he called the most important goal of his life.
Swantz found the back of the net with 13 minutes and 57 seconds left in Iowa Mennonite School?s Class 1A substate soccer match against seventh-ranked Burlington Notre Dame Wednesday.
It was the deciding goal of the match in a 2-1 victory that advances IMS to the next round of the postseason. IMS will play Solon, a 5-0 winner over Holy Trinity, at noon Saturday in Solon.
IMS is ranked second. Solon is ranked third. The winner advances to state, which will be held at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines May 31-June 2.
Swantz scored the goal as a result of the IMS passing and teamwork, which resulted in a 14-5 edge in shots on goal.
?We?ve been trying to work on possession and coming out strong and see what teams give us,? IMS head coach Marcus Miller said. ?We finally got one in. It seems like we had a lot of other good opportunities. We just didn?t cash in on them. We got that one.?
?It was the biggest goal of my career so far,? Swantz said. ?And in a big game like this. We lost last year in the second round of substate. Now we?re going to the third round. We?re 17-1. When we were 16-1 that was the best record IMS has ever had. We just have to keep going. We can?t stop now.?
Cole Ours brought the ball upfield along the sideline, then booted the ball into the front of the goal.
?Cole was on the right side and he gave me a perfect cross and I was there at the right time and the right moment,? Swantz said. ?That was my job to be there if the ball is right there. My job is to be the trash man. It was right there and it was trash and no one was there, so I just kind of poked it in. Louis (Etienne) and a defender both fell and the goalie was on the ground, so I got to give Louis credit. It was awesome.?
Trash seemed to be a common thread on the IMS goals as Notre Dame coach Will Cahill had some thoughts on the first score of the game. Etienne got a shot off that rebounded and Jacob Boller blasted it into the goal for a 1-0 IMS lead with 29:37 remaining in the first half.
?Their first goal was kind of garbage,? Cahill said. ?It was a lucky goal. That kind of got our heads down. Other than that it was a good game. It?s always like this when we play IMS. It?s always back and forth.?
IMS had seven shots on goal in the first half to just one for the visitors.
?We didn?t play the way we wanted to in the first half,? Cahill said. ?We didn?t have any shape. That was kind of our problem the first half.?
?It?s a relief to get by this team,? Miller said. ?They?re the one team we lost to this season and I think it helped us be a little more focused.?
IMS lost to the Nikes in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference tournament on a neutral field (Mediapolis) but won at Notre Dame.
?I think losing to them before, we knew they were a good team,? Miller said. ?We knew they were capable of it. The game at their field was 2-1 and we had to come from behind to win that one. That was a tough game, too. We knew this would be tough. I don?t think they were ranked as high as they should have been.?
Notre Dame tied the game with 33:14 left in the match when Rodolfo Radice found a loose ball in the middle of the box from a throw-in.
?We knew what style they play and they are really, really good at it,? Miller said. ?They are really good up front with that style of play. They put a lot of pressure on our defense.?
IMS was able to handle that pressure and stayed aggressive, rarely letting Notre Dame maintain possession.
?We had like 13 minutes to play so we had to play even harder after that (goal),? Swantz said. ?We had to keep our minds, keep our game going.?