GILBERT — Nevada couldn’t get in sync offensively until it was too late against Gilbert in a Heart of Iowa Conference battle between two top-five Class 1A teams Friday at Gilbert.
Nevada, ranked No. 3 in 1A, was dealt a 1-0 setback as the No. 5 Tigers defeated the Cubs for the second year in a row.
Playing a rare game on turf, Nevada was slow out of the gate. Gilbert possessed the ball for much of the first half and the first 20 minutes of the second half.
Nevada’s defense hung tough, keeping the game a scoreless tie through one half of play. But a little over three minutes into the second half, Gilbert’s Hannah Thatcher found the net for the game’s only goal.
Thatcher nailed a shot into the net off a ball from Emily Branson just three minutes, 38 seconds into the half.
Gilbert continued to possess the ball over the next 15 minutes. But in the final 20 minutes, Nevada started gaining momentum on offense despite leading scorer Madison Stevens being forced out of action with an injury in the second half.
“We haven’t played on turf a lot, not that it’s an excuse, but it takes us awhile to get going on it, so they dictate the game a little bit and we’re playing behind the ball maybe too much and letting them carry too much,” Nevada head coach Randy Davis said. “When they scored, then the urgency steps up and we saw what we can do when we have to, but we should’ve done that from the beginning.”
Nevada got off some good runs over the final 20 minutes. But the Cubs didn’t get any great looks against first-year Tiger keeper Emma Bulman, thanks to a stout Gilbert defense led by center-backs Sarah Hinners and Caroline Culek.
Davis said he was pleased with how his team fought back late in the game. He was also happy with the effort of his defense, led by keeper Erin Francis.
“Grace did a good job keeping us in it,” Davis said. “We want our defense to keep us in the game. That’s their job. Now we just need to find the connection from the midfield to the offense so we can get the ball on our side of the net.”
The loss put Nevada at 10-4. Gilbert improved to 8-2.
Gilbert 1, Nevada 0
N 0 0 - 0
G 1 0 - 1
G - Hannah Thatcher (Emily Branson), 43:38.
CLEAR LAKE — Nevada easily took care of Clear Lake May 10, scoring a 5-0 shutout at Clear Lake.
Nevada’s defense picked up its seventh shutout. The Cubs picked up their 10th win of the season and Clear Lake dropped to 4-3.
Meredith Harter and Hattie Rhodes each scored two goals for Nevada in the win. Madison Stevens chipped in one score for the Cubs.