By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – It wasn’t all that long ago City High was mired in a three-match losing streak and couldn’t remember the last time it got a win.
On Friday that losing skid seemed like years ago.
Class 3A sixth-ranked City High ran its winning streak to four in a row on Friday with a 1-0 win over Linn-Mar in a Mississippi Valley Conference showdown at City High.
“When you lose a few like that it does seem like you haven’t won in forever,” City High senior John Clark said. “It’s tough but we got out of I and ow It seems like a long time ago, it really does.”
Clark provided all the scoring with his goal in the 45th minute as City High improved to 10-3 on the season and 6-3 in MVC play with its fourth win in less than seven days.
The winning streak followed a stretch in which City High lost three straight one-goal matches to top-five teams in a six-day span.
A 1-0 loss to cross-town rival started the stretch and snapped City High’s 28-match winning streak in non-state tournament matches.
“We always try to put our losses behind us after they happen but we always learn from our mistakes,” City High freshman Adam Engelbrecht said. “After getting these results after those losses we aren’t scared of losing again we just try to keep it going.”
City High snapped the losing skid with three consecutive wins against ranked teams including a 1-0 win over No. 15 Waterloo West on Tuesday.
The Little Hawks had a similar outcome on Friday against a Linn-Mar (6-7, 5-4) team that has spent time in the Class 3A rankings this season.
City High controlled possession in the first half but went into intermission 0-0 after failing on a trio of solid scoring opportunities.
“We knew this from the beginning of the year, teams are coming to us with a purpose they are coming prepared and every team is playing with us a lot of players in the back and very few up top and we are not adjusting to it well,” City High coach Jose Fajardo said. “We create the chances, we get there, we make the noise but we don’t put it away and that makes other teams believe they can do it.”
Engelbrecht rocketed a shot that caromed off the crossbar in the 20th minute and less than five minutes later Hunter teDuits sailed a shot off a well-placed Rasmus Schlutter cross high from inside six yards.
Ben Steve had the final scoring opportunity of the first half but his shot from inside the 18-yard box was wide right.
At halftime the Little Hawks simple discussed creating more of those opportunities.
“We really just talked about taking chances,” Clark said. “We just needed to pass quicker and our counter attacks needed to be much more crisp and faster and we just needed to take chances.”
Clark quickly broke the scoreless tie in the second half when he slipped a shot into the lower left corner of the goal from just outside the box less than five minutes into the half.
“I don’t know how it got out of the box but I just saw the ball and I went for it,” Clark said. “I know I have a pretty good shot so I took it.”
City High kept Linn-Mar at bay for much of the second half before a final Lion push in the final 10 minutes.
The Lions best chance to score came in the 77th minute but Engelrecht came up with the play of the game to preserve the lead.
City High keeper Sam Tomek attempted a diving save but couldn’t control the ball on the left side of the box leaving Linn Mar senior Benjamin McCullough with an open net.
Engelbrecht positioned himself between McCullough and the goal and the shot from the Linn-Mar player ricocheted off Engelbrecht’s leg and City High cleared.
“I just knew I was right in front of the goal and I had to get something on it,” Engelbrecht said. “It was pretty important and I just put myself there.”