The Albia soccer team held the high-powered scoring offense of Mid-Prairie (11-4) to zero goals in the first 100 minutes of play, going 0-0 through two regulation halves and two 10-minute overtimes, sending the second round district match to the shoot-out phase.
Landon Noe lined up first and his kick was blocked. Mid-Prairie scored its first against Albia goalie Zach Lawrence. Adam Sheffield lined up in the penatly kick area and shot the ball into the net to tie the game at 1-1. Mid-Prairie countered with a goal to make it 2-1. But Ben Leshen and David Fisher had their kicks blocked and the Golden Hawks scored on their fifth goal making a shot by Travis Sheffield unneccesary.
The 3-1 advantage in the shootout gave Mid-Prairie a 1-0 victory and ended the dream of a state tournament appearance for the Blue Demons. Mid-Prairie moves to the substate final against West Liberty. Albia ends with one of the best records in school history at 11-4.
“I thought our team played extremely well,” said Coach Matt Johnson. “We had a lot of outside distractions, but the kids stayed the course. Our seniors led well. I’m really proud of how they played both at Chariton and against Mid-Prairie.”
The Blue Demons had their chances with 16 shots and 12 shots on goal. Lawrence had seven saves. Albia held Mid-Prairie to just 16 shots and 12 shots on goal.
Eleven seniors waited two years to play with COVID-19 ending their season before it started last year. They include Max Teno, David Fisher, Austin Stanley, Landon Noe, Matteo Bender, Brock Ratliff, Travis Sheffield, Gage Shaffer, Ben Leshen and Jose Ceja.
The team returns a sold core of underclassmen, led by regulars Lance Helm, Cason Noe and Connor Fisher, all freshmen, juniors Eli Zanoni and Dawson Bonnett and sophomores Adam Sheffield and Sophie Waber.