REINBECK — Gladbrook-Reinbeck saw its bid for a third consecutive trip to the Class 1A boys’ state soccer tournament thwarted by upstart Garner-Hayfield/Ventura Saturday, 3-1.
The unranked Cardinals took a quick lead with a third-minute goal by Colten Schroeder.
“I don’t know if we weren’t awake or if we just took them for granted but the came out guns blazing and let us have it right away,” said Gladbrook-Reinbeck head coach John Dinsdale.
The 12th-ranked Rebels settled in and got the equalizer in the 26th minute. Walker Thede found Thomas Mussig in the middle of the field, who played a beautiful wall pass give-and-go to Thede in full-attack mode and the junior took it from there.
“He (Mussig) got it perfectly right back to me,” said Thede. “I had the easy job and put it right down in the corner.”
Gladbrook-Reinbeck outshot GH-V 9-4 in the half, but settled for that 1-1 draw.
In the second half, Jonah Albertson struck a laser on the ground that beat Rebel keeper Parker Bown to put GHV back on top 2-1 in the 53rd minute. The Cardinals kept pressing and added a third goal two minutes later. A failed clearance landed at Connor Burke’s feet, and he buried the short shot to make it 3-1.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck (9-7) kept attacking and outshot the Cardinals 18-9 for the match, but saw Erik Knaack, Thomas Mussig and Thede all suffer near misses down the stretch.
“We had a lot of what-ifs out there and that’s too bad,” said Dinsdale. “We probably won the possession battle, but they (GH-V) finished their opportunities.”
Garner-Hayfield/Ventura advanced to its first state tournament with a 10-6 record.
“We’ve got nothing to prove and I think that’s why we’re doing it,” said Cardinals head coach Eric Williams.
While Thede returns next season for G-R, he’ll be without five seniors who have also been instrumental to the Rebels’ recent run of success.
“I lose five great seniors and our school’s leading scorer in Knaack so that’s a huge loss for us and we’ll have to have some younger kids step-up,” said Dinsdale.