Glenwood boys play ‘beautiful football’ with balance, solid defense | Sport

(Glenwood) – Glenwood boys soccer has proven to be one of the top teams in Class 2A this year behind a balanced offensive attack, stingy defense and some quality wins.

The 2A No. 4 Rams are currently 10-1 with wins over Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Atlantic, Waverly Shell-Rock, Waukee, Des Moines East, St. Albert, Tri-Center, Red Oak, LeMars and Kuemper Catholic. Their only loss was a 2-1 affair at the hands of 1A No. 7 Treynor.

“Absolutely ecstatic with our start so far,” said Glenwood head coach Cort Lovato. “I didn’t expect it. We had some big wins early.”

Two big wins came on the same day, when the Rams defeated Waukee (1-0) and Des Moines East (3-2) in the ADM Tournament on April 6.

“Obviously Waukee should have been up 1-0 in the first five minutes,” Lovato said. One of their shots hit the post. After that the boys settled down, regained their composure and we were more of the attacking team. Against Des Moines East, the boys were patient. We played with house money after we beat Waukee. The boys responded and we won in a way we hadn’t done in a long time.”

Glenwood scored a total of 46 goals last year with 12 different players. Cameron King and Adam Severn were a powerful duo with ten goals each, while Cort Lovato, Jr (6), Nolan Clark (5), Virginio Rangel Gonzales (4), Andrew Abler (3), Jace Tallmon (3), Trace Johnson (1), Reilly McEwen (1), Aaron Christian (1), Til Kaufman (1) and Hunter Purvis (1) also found the back of the net.

Where the Rams’ scoring production would come from was a question mark this year after the award of 2023 KMAland Boys Soccer Player of the Year Caden Johnson, who scored a total of 29 goals last season.

“We’re a team of 11 players,” Lovato said. “There is no selfishness. At the moment we are playing beautiful football.”

Scoring has been difficult at Glenwood this year. The Rams allowed just six goals in their first eleven games. Junior Ryan Turner was a wall with 332 saves and an 88.9% save percentage through 610 minutes.

“He wasn’t planning on playing this year,” Lovato said. “Our assistant coach talked to him and Ryan was excited about it. He’s the vocal leader a goalie should be. He sets the tone for our defense.”

The Rams have been on the cusp of the program’s eighth state tournament trip the past two years, but substate final losses to Lewis Central (2022) and Perry (2023) have denied them that opportunity.

Their No. 4 ranking in the Iowa High School Athletic Association Class 2A rankings means they will likely have a favorable path, provided they can take care of business in the upcoming battles with Harlan (Thursday), Creston (Tuesday), Lewis Central (May 2), Denison-Schleswig (May 7) and Abraham Lincoln (May 10). The last three of those matchups will be telling for the Rams. Lewis Central is No. 1 in Class 3A, Denison-Schleswig was a state tournament team last year and Abraham Lincoln has won four of their last five.

“We have to be competitive,” Lovato said. “Those are three good teams. Our last three games will be tough, but we have to do well to put us on track for the postseason.”

Click below to hear more with Coach Lovato.

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