SIOUX CITY — About a minute before she scored a goal in the second half, Spencer's Kirsten Small got some mentoring from coach John Hansel.
Hansel scolded Small on not timing her run right, and the Tigers sophomore heeded that advice.
Small scored the Tigers’ final goal in a 2-0 win over East at Rich Vanderloo Field over the East Black Raiders, who fall to 3-5.
Isabella Berger played the ball toward Small, and once it came toward her way, Small knew that she had to find the ball and strike it past Black Raiders goalkeeper Emma Von Hagel 9 minutes, 19 seconds into the second half.
The Class 2A fifth-ranked Tigers (8-0) had been working on crossing techniques this week.
“So when Isabella passed me the ball back, she would go to the end line, and she would pass it negative to around where the (penalty kick) spot would be,” Small said. “After that, you just run up on it positive so when she passes it backward, you’re going forward.”
Small connected on her fifth goal of the season, which is second to teammate Mia Fank’s 13.
Spencer's first goal came 10 minutes, 59 seconds into the match on a corner kick, and Brooke Moser was on the receiving end.
“We haven’t done that very often,” said Hansel of the Tigers’ rare corner-kick goal.
Tigers sophomore goalkeeper Payton Cooper had eight saves and recorded her third straight shutout.
Spencer couldn’t help but to take a celebration photo after the win on Thursday.
It’s certainly appropriate, as the Tigers became the first 8-0 team in all of Iowa high school girls soccer this season. Spencer wasn’t afraid to play a Class 3A team that was just ranked 15th a week ago.
You have free articles remaining.
The Tigers lead the state with 44 goals scored and are one of 21 teams to allow two goals or less all season.
“This is probably the hardest-working group we’ve had in the offseason that we’ve ever had,” Hansel said. “They organize it all. I don’t do anything with that. They have a group chat, get a hold of each other and they come out and work. They take it upon themselves to do that.”
East coach Tyler Mogensen knew this game would be a challenge for East.
“(Spencer) is a good team, and they’re solid in all positions,” Mogensen said. “Overall, I thought we competed and battled … I’m not too upset.”
East, meanwhile, was on the losing end of two shutouts this week, with the first coming Tuesday in a 1-0 loss to Sioux City North.
The Black Raiders had eight shots on goal, three corner kicks and Von Hagel had five saves. They had opportunities to score, but have just come up empty.
“That’s kind of been the case for us all season long,” Mogensen said. “We’re normally a high-scoring team in previous years, but this year, boy, we can’t get over the hump and get a couple goals in.”
Mogensen couldn’t put his finger on why the drought has been happening.
Olivia Barnes was the last East goal scorer, and that came April 8 against Unity Christian.
“We’re creating chances, but we’re just not finding the net,” Mogensen said. “We’re getting in the box and we’re creating corner chances and free kicks. For some reason, whether the goalie makes a good save or they get to the ball before we do.
"The tough schedule and the limited amount of goals and the injuries we've had are weighing heavily on the girls right now," Mogensen added. "I think they're maybe pushing a little too hard, and it's in their heads."
The Black Raiders had three corner kicks Thursday.
East’s next game is Tuesday at Sergeant Bluff-Luton.