By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – City High has developed a distinct style of play under third-year coach Michael Prunty.
Paramount in Prunty’s playing style of choice is patience.
“We want to be patient,” Prunty explained. “I tell the girls to calm down and try to understand that the ball doesn’t have an expiration date, as long as we still have it we can create something again, we just have to be patient with it.”
In Thursday’s Mississippi Valley Conference match with Dubuque Senior even Prunty’s patience was tested a bit.
Class 3A No. 14 City High (3-1, 2-0) shook off a slow start, doing all of its scoring in the final 42 minutes in a 3-0 win over Dubuque Senior (1-3, 1-1) at City High.
“I may be more impatient than they are sometimes,” Prunty said of his team. “Today, they kept plugging away and creating chances.”
Scoring chances were hard to come by for either team in the opening half.
The best opportunity to break the scoreless tie in the opening 35 minutes came when Dubuque Senior forward Tia Martin hammered a free kick from just outside the box off the cross bar in the 32 minute.
City High didn’t muster more than a few looks at goal in the opening 30 minutes but the Little Hawk’s patience paid off late in the half.
Sydney Schroder found some space in the middle of the field and beat a pair of defenders to set a one-on-one with Dubuque Senior keeper Ellie Shearer.
Schroder beat Shearer with a shot to the lower left corner of the goal.
“I had open space to dribble and I just took on two girls and shot it far left corner,” Schroder said. “I just didn’t want to shoot it at the keeper, I just wanted to shoot it to one of the corners. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy just on the ground right to the corner and it will go in.”
City High stuck to its plan in the second half and its patient paid off again.
Schroder added a second goal when she blasted a left-footed shot from the left side of the box into the upper right corner to make it 2-0 in the 63rd minute.
“I was getting frustrated in the first half because I knew that we could finish these goals but I feel like once we scored once we started getting more momentum,” Schroder said. “They started sagging off so the center mids had a lot more space to drive.”
Sydney DePrenger made it 3-0 in the 70th minute with her second goal of the season.
DePrenger beat a pair of defenders into the box and slotted a shot into the lower left corner.
“I felt like we panicked a lot early in the first half but in the second half I thought we did a lot better of checking to the ball,” DePrenger said. “We were better in the second half of connecting passes.”
While the Little Hawks needed some time to get their offensive attack rolling on Thursday the defense was strong from the outset.
Sophomore keeper Naomi Meurice had seven saves while recording her second straight shutout and third of the season.