Nevada loses 3-0 to unbeaten Beckman Catholic

DES MOINES – For 50 minutes it looked as if Nevada was going to bounce back from giving up an early goal and go toe-to-toe with top-seeded Beckman Catholic in the Class 1A semifinals at the boys’ state soccer tournament Friday.

But a bang-bang play near the goal 14 minutes into the second half gave Beckman Catholic a two-goal lead and Nevada went flat the rest of the way, suffering a 3-0 loss at the Cownie Soccer Park.

"I’m a little disappointed, but we lost to a very good team," Nevada head coach Bill George said. "They played better than we did and they deserve to go to the championship round. We’ll see if we can pull third place out."

Kyle Grover gave Beckman Catholic a 1-0 lead just 4:46 into the game when he connected on a shot from right at the 18 and perfectly placed it on the far side of the net.

The early score initially took a little out of Nevada as Beckman Catholic continued to control things for the next 10 minutes. But then the Cubs settled down and started finding their own groove.

Just before the first half came to a close, Cub forward Tate Handsaker took a nice ball from Patrick Stephenson and got a great look from the right side of the goal. But Trailblazer keeper Michael Gibbs made a diving stop to snare the ball on the ground and maintain the lead for his team at the break.

In the early stages of the second half, Nevada continued to give Beckman Catholic all it could handle and Cub keeper Zach Anderson made a nice leaping save on a Trailblazer corner kick. But at the 54:11 mark, things quickly went south for the Cubs.

Beckman Catholic got a nice run and Travis Gudenkauf hit a rocket shot that went off the post and deflected away. But Grover was right there off the deflection to punch the ball in the net for a 2-0 Trailblazer lead.

From that point on, Beckman Catholic began to dominate ball possession. They got off two shots on goal in the next 10 minutes, and with 13 minutes left in regulation Handsaker – the leading Cub scorer on the season – was given a yellow card after picking up his second contact foul.

With Handsaker forced to sit, Nevada couldn’t get clicking on offense. Beckman Catholic was able to slam the door on the Cubs at the 72:58 mark when Adam Noethe kicked a hard grounder into the net off a ball from Gudenkauf. The victory gave the Trailblazers vengeance for last year when Nevada upset them in the first round on its way to the title game.

"They had a chip on their shoulder from last year because we sent them home early," Nevada sweeper Owen Shawgo said. "They were coming in ready to beat us."

George noted that Nevada tried a different strategy against Beckman Catholic. He said he wanted to focus on less dribbling and use more quick passes to get behind the Trailblazer defense, but the Cubs struggled with the adjustment.

"We weren’t playing feet, we weren’t playing quickly and they were getting to the ball a lot faster than we were," Shawgo said. "We just couldn’t make the right passes."

Shawgo said he was proud of how the Cubs responded defensively in the first half after the first Trailblazer goal.

"They were mainly playing it up to their top two guys," Shawgo said. "On that first goal we let him turn and he had a shot and it went, so we just tried to keep them in front and not let them turn."

With the loss Nevada fell to 13-5. Beckman Catholic improved to 17-0-1.

Beckman Catholic 3, Nevada 0

N 0 0 – 0

BC 1 2 – 3

Scoring

First half

BC – Kyle Grover, 4:46

Second half

BC – Grover (Travis Gudenkauf), 54:11

BC – Adam Noethe (Gudenkauf), 72:58