Around the weekend the Albia High School soccer team split games with Grinnell and Chariton.
On Friday the Blue Demons lost 6-2 to the Grinnell Tigers. The visitors were able to mount a 4-1 lead in the first half. Grinnell scored at the 28:00 minute mark again at the 23:53 mark and at the 14:46 mark. “They were able to take advantage of some mistakes on defense in the penalty area,” said Coach Gary Gravert. “That is certainly uncharacteristic for us. We are usually very tough in our own third, but to their credit their aggressiveness paid off.”
Albia closed the gap on a shot from Devin Robinson at the 12:11 mark. Robinson was able to hit a right footed shot from just inside the penalty area. Unfortunately the Tigers responded with a corner kick score with 3:34 left in the half.
Albia gave up a fifth goal six minutes into the second half on a breakaway. Albia cut the lead as Robinson hit his second goal, again from distance, at the 19:07 mark. Grinnell added a goal in the final five minutes to make it 6-2.
“I thought we started with energy and played very well early on in the game,” said Coach Gravert. “When Grinnell scored two goals they really pressed forward and put a lot of pressure on us inside the penalty area. They may be the best team we have played this year and we had a chance to learn a lot about ourselves this night.”
On Monday Albia used some of those lessons to defeat a 4-3 Chariton team at home 2-0.
The Blue Demons scored twice in the first half. Emilio Palomares scored at the 21:03 mark by punching in a shot from inside the penalty area. “We moved Emilio to the front to get him more involved in the offense third of the field,”said Coach Gravert. “He responded well and got us off to a good start.”
Albia’s second goal came from their leading scorer Lee Curran at the 12:14 mark. Curran was able to maneuver inside the goalie box and punched in a six yard shot for the score. “Lee has been getting increasingly better in the crowd that gathers inside the penalty area,” said the coach. “He had some great opportunities in the second half as well that barely missed.”
See this full sports story in the Thursday, April 28th issue of the Union Republican.