PELLA — A second-half goal by forward Matthew West (sophomore, Pleasant Hill, Southeast Polk HS) pulled the score even at 1-1 and gave Central a result Wednesday.
Central (1-1-1, 1-1-1 American Rivers Conference) was outshot 18-12 by the Storm (2-0-1, 2-0-1 conference), who also held an 11-3 advantage in shots on goal. Central had 55% of possession in the match, but a majority of it was in its own defensive half.
The Dutch were coming off a tough 2-0 loss against Loras last weekend.
“We were keeping the ball well, we just weren’t going anywhere with it,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “We were far off our best against Loras and I thought we showed a really good response today.”
After conceding an early goal, Central was handed an opportunity after a Simpson misplay led to an open net for West in the 50th minute who buried his first goal of the year.
“He’s a poacher,” Laidlaw said. “He’s always sort of hanging on the line waiting for those mistakes. Some of them he creates with his energy and his pressure. It’s nice to see him get rewarded with all the work he does off the ball.”
Micah Poole (sophomore, Bettendorf) played in the first 45 minutes in goal before John Foster (freshman, Lee’s Summit, Mo., North HS) played the final 65 minutes between the pipes. Poole made four saves and Foster made six.
“We feel really good about our goalkeeper situation right now,” Laidlaw said.
Laidlaw cited the play of defenders Austin Andresen (sophomore, Davenport, Assumption HS) and Mitchel Laihinen (junior, Rosemount, Minn.) off the bench.
“Austin has added stability for us the last two games,” he said. “His pace is an asset back there and he’s brick wall for us.
“Mitchel filled in well for an injured Joel Collett (senior, Walford, Cedar Rapids, Prairie HS). On a really tough attacking player from Simpson, he did a nice job shutting him down.”
Central travels to play Dubuque Saturday at 3:30 p.m.