WATERLOO — The girls’ soccer season kicked off Monday night at the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex with eight area teams getting together for four great matches in the Metro Jamboree.
Hudson rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to win the opener 3-2 over Union, Waverly-Shell Rock used a late penalty kick by Kenzie Roling to down Waterloo Columbus, Denver and Waterloo ended in a 1-all tie, and Cedar Falls needed just one tally to hold off Independence.
The Tigers used a pitch perfect charge to set up the score as junior Nicole Motzko spotted senior midfielder Elli Gruhn streaking unattended down the middle and dished a nice pass to the center. Gruhn dribbled in about 10 yards then let fly with a shot that found its way to the back of the net.
“That was a very well-played goal,” Cedar Falls coach Alex Place said. “Everything was played out like you plan in practice and the girls played it out the way you dream it to go. We were just excited to get out and have 11-on-11 competition and try some new players out.”
Waterloo coach Chris Worthey was just as excited about his young core of players as they held their own against a talented Denver squad.
Waterloo looked crisp to start and put the first point on the board five minutes in.
Sophomore Kayla Koch muscled her way down the left side and delivered a nice ball in front of the net that Selma Begic headed past Emma Hennessy’s reach.
“We are excited about this team, because most of these girls have been playing together for years,” said Worthey. “The girls seem more patient this year and I think for their first time out, they played very well. We wanted to see if our girls could compete tonight and they competed very well.”
Columbus and Waverly-Shell Rock put on a battle typical of their rivalry.
The Go-Hawks saw several early opportunities miss by inches, but Roling’s penalty kick with three minutes left proved to be the difference.
“We had a few opportunities in the beginning that we just didn’t capitalize on,” W-SR coach Lauren Greiner said. “It was nice to be able to finally play against an actual opponent tonight. I thought we communicated well and connected well on our passing. The defensive line was tough all night and they took care of the ball for us.”
The Sailors had few chances as the Go-Hawks kept them at bay.
“It is always good to play a team like Waverly,” said Columbus coach Julie Girsch. “They are such a respected program and so well-coached and it gives us a chance to see where we are at right now. I think the most important thing about tonight is that we got the jitters out of the way and got rid of some nerves.”
Hudson used two late goals by Faith Hoffman after Union got a pair of goals from Allie Carty early. Ellie Foster notched a goal for the Pirates and Hoffman found the back of the net in the 38th minute for the game-winner.