A strong wind helped the Ankeny Centennial boys’ soccer team to a victory in its CIML Central Conference opener on Tuesday at Southeast Polk.
With the wind at their backs, the third-ranked Jaguars scored three goals in the last 17 minutes of the first half. They went on to defeat the Rams, 3-0.
“There was a stiff breeze going toward the one net,” said Centennial coach Brian Duax. “We thought it would die down as the night went on, so we took the wind in the first half. And once we got one (goal), the floodgates kind of opened.”
Cole Vincent broke the ice when he scored a goal in the 23rd minute, his fifth of the season. Alex Keninger later added a goal to make it 2-0, then David Guddall followed with another one to complete the scoring.
Nick Ashton, Connor Page and Michael Poitry each had an assist for the Jaguars, who then controlled the second half even though they didn’t add to their lead.
“We’re trying to learn the next step,” Duax said. “When you have a team down, you want to take them out of the game and make them realize that they don’t have a chance. Although we didn’t do it with goals in the second half, we did it with the amount of possession that we had. The lack of possession that Southeast Polk had kind of popped their balloon and broke their spirit.”
Cole Pankey made four saves and combined with Jonathon Stockwell on the shutout, Centennial’s fifth of the season. The Jaguars have allowed only two goals in their last six games.
Centennial improved to 8-0 on the season. The Rams dropped to 3-4.
The Jaguars will host a huge game against No. 1 Valley (11-0) on Thursday. The Tigers have outscored their opponents by a 47-10 margin.
“It’ll be a test for us,” Duax said. “We’ll see what we’re made of.”