Lynx shown the postseason exit by Lions

HUMBOLDT – Finding the back of the net with its most potent lineup was going to be a challenge for the Webster City girls’ soccer team here Friday night in a Class 1A Region 3 semifinal.

But trying to do it at less than full strength? Nope, not happening.

Despite a valiant effort, WCHS (9-9) saw its season end, as Clear Lake (10-3) scored a pair of goals over the final 11 minutes, 14 seconds to advance to Monday’s regional final against second-ranked Nevada (18-0).

Maia Jaycox, the Lynx starting goalkeeper all season, was sidelined with a foot injury and that forced head coach Paul Baedke to pull second-leading scorer Molly Gilbert off the front line and put her in goal during the second half.

“I sat there and debated that for quite a while,” Baedke said after his team’s five-match win streak came to an end. “We were hoping to either get a lucky break on offense or go to (a penalty-kick shootout), but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out that way.”

With Gilbert in goal, that left Jesse Lee – the fifth leading goal scorer in 1A with 26 goals – out on an island by herself and Clear Lake kept her in check.

The Lions broke open the scoreless match in the 69th minute when Logan Anderson notched her 15th goal of the season. WCHS defender Taliyah Carr got her foot on the kick, but it ricocheted past Gilbert and into the net.

Ivy Hogg put the bout out of reach in the 74th minute on a long shot that went screaming into the top corner for the 2-0 edge.

Both teams took six shots on goal. Jaycox collected three first-half saves and Gilbert netted one over the final 40 minutes.

Only Lee will depart to graduation; in her only year in a Lynx uniform, she set the single-season school record for goals. Still, Baedke is optimistic the team will take another step forward next season.

“That’s a big senior that’s going to be gone, but the core is there,” he said. “This is an excellent group of girls that came together and fought together. I really thought we could get this one and then challenge Nevada.”