Sports

Players we missed on the pitch Soccer season was lost due to coronavirus shutdown

Photo by Kevin Rohr

Washington’s Pascual Mendoza (11) dribbles up field as teammate Levi Rohr (15) looks on last season. Both were seniors this year.
Photo by Kevin Rohr Washington’s Pascual Mendoza (11) dribbles up field as teammate Levi Rohr (15) looks on last season. Both were seniors this year.
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The high school soccer season was kicked away by the threat of the coronavirus.

The local pitch would have seen some stellar boys performances but the fields remain empty.

The Union would like to highlight some seniors who may have excelled this season.

Some local teams had high hopes for the season, especially Mid-Prairie, which was 9-4 last season and returning its second-leading scorer.

Hillcrest, formerly Iowa Mennonite School, had two straight appearances at the state tournament ended thanks to the virus. They were 12-5 last season and set a school record with an 18-2 mark the previous year.

Columbus had a 5-9 ledger while Highland went 2-10 last season.

Fairfield finished last season with a mark of 10-7 overall, but ruled the Southeast Conference with a record of 7-1 in league play. Its only loss was 4-3 at home to Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant had a record of 6-2 in the SEC, 13-7 overall while Washington went 3-12, 2-6.

Brian Maren and Toby Chen, Hillcrest Academy

Maren and Chen combined for 25 points last season in their junior year. Maren had five assists and four goals while Chen had six assists and three goals.

Drew Blauveldt, Kobe Borntrager, Logan Thomas and Martin Vaca were the other juniors on last season’s roster.

Iowa Mennonite School changed its name to Hillcrest Academy July 30, 2019. In its last season under that name, IMS went 6-1 in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference to place second behind Burlington Notre Dame for the regular season title, but lost in the first round of the conference tournament. IMS used that defeat to overcome Washington then won its first three postseason games to make it to state.

Leone Gichure, Fairfield

The Fairfield Trojans would have been defending Southeast Conference champions this season, and Gichure was a big reason they finished the year on top.

Gichure led the team with 24 points on the year, scoring nine goals and dishing out six helpers.

Gichure would hav ebeen just one of a large handful of returners for Fairfield. The Trojans lost just three players from the 2018-19 team and would have been favorites in the SEC if spring sports would have held up.

Ovidio Reyes-Cardona, Mt. Pleasant

The Mt. Pleasant boys lost quite a bit of talent from graduation, including three of their top for scorers. Reyes-Cardona would have been coming off a red-hot junior year.

Reyes-Cardona scored 17 goals last year and dished out five assists to end the year with 39 points, second best on the team. He also led the dquad with 68 shots on goal.

Reyes-Cardona was a key factor on a Mt. Pleasant team that lost just two games in the SEC and finished second in the conference. He would have been one of the best returners in the league.

Pascual Mendoza, Washington

Mendoza was the second-leading scorer for the Demons last season with two goals and three assists.

Other juniors on last year’s team were Gabe Zimmer, German Ramirez, Levi Rohr, David Rees, Colton Burmeister.

The Demons started the season 2-2, but didn’t win again until the second-to-last regular season game, a 6-3 rout of Keokuk. Washington was 2-6 in SEC play.

Felix Solis, Columbus

Solis led the Wildcats in points and goals last season as a junior with five scores and an assist. Jonathon Gonzales, Angel Hernandez, Pablo Cornejo, Jesus Jimenez and Benjamin Hemsworth are his classmates.

The Wildcats went 4-3 in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference last season but lost in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament.

The Wildcats lost their final regular season game, 8-0, to West Liberty, had a week of practice, then barely lost to the same West Liberty team by the score of 2-0 in the first round of the postseason.

Ashton VanWinkle, Mid-Prairie

Van Winkle was second in points on the Golden Hawks last year as a junior. Van Winkle totaled 17 points on eight goals and one assist. He took just 20 shots on goal, converting 40 percent.

Other juniors last season were Mason Hartley, Levi Stultz, Beau Stutzman, Cole Davis

After starting last year 1-2, the Golden Hawks found their groove and won eight of nine before losing in the first round of the postseason.

Derek Sandburg, Highland

Alyssa Brase and Zane Arnold were the only other juniors on last season’s roster for Highland.

The Huskies started their season with a huge home win over Washington, but didn’t get their second win until their final regular season game.