Rams’ season comes to end in state quarterfinals

Cort Lovato, Jr. attempts to manuever by an Assumption defender in the quarterfinals.

DES MOINES - The Glenwood boys soccer team came to end Wednesday in the Class 2A Iowa State Soccer quarterfinals at the Cownie Sports Complex in Des Moines.

Davenport Assumption stunned the No. 2 seeded Rams with a goal just three minutes in and played keep away the rest of the way in a 4-0 victory.

“I’m happy for these guys, a lot of these guys believed in what we were doing from day one,” said Glenwood coach Cort Lovato after the game. “For those guys to put themselves here, I’m proud of them. Obviously, it didn’t go our way but that 4-0 score

is not indicative of who we are. We had some errors we just normally don’t have.”

If a 4-0 loss can be closer than the score would indicate, this match was it.

The Knights first goal wasn’t a fluke, but the swooping shot Ram keeper appeared to have a good bead on was deflected right to the foot of Aiden Nuci who booted it in.

Lovato said his team wasn’t shell shocked by the goal, but it did change the complexation of the game.

“It would have been different if they had come down and built out and got a shot right in the six (center of the box); they didn’t,” he said “It was a cross shot that was misjudged and slipped through his hands and into the goal. It obviously changed the game, but it was so early. We kept doing what we wanted to do. It was 1-0 at the half. We had our opportunities; we just didn’t get it done.”

The Rams did indeed bounce back and they had their chances. Neither team seemed to have an upper hand in possession and both teams had good looks on goal before intermission.

But it was the Knights that got the better looks after halftime. A pair of goals by Nuci another by Andrew Gimbel served as insurance goals the Rams couldn’t match.

“We’re usually locked in on corners and we weren’t,” Lovato said.” Those were the errors we had. My hats off to Assumption, they played a great game. We’re right with them and we needed some breaks, and we didn’t get them.”

Lovato felt his team’s connection from the midfield, which had been so good all season, never seemed to synch up.

“We never did get in rhythm,” he said. “We weren’t so much a step behind as we weren’t finding that third penetrating pass. We were getting that first and second pass and then looking and I think that was us white knuckling and the whole aura of being on this field and the magnitude of this game. We wanted to get back in it right away. I think we were in too much of a hurry. It was available. We had opportunities. Guys moved to fast instead of making their back line shift.”

Assumption (12-8) went to finish as the state runners-up in a 3-2 loss to Bishop Heelan in Saturday’s finals.

The Rams close their season with a record of 14-5. The trip to state was their first in a decade.

“Walking up here I could remember where we played (in 2014) and who was on the field next to us and who was on the main field,” he said. “I wanted to have more memories of being here.”

In all, Lovato says goodbye to 10 seniors, including his son Cort, and longtime starters Cameron King, Adam Severn and Nolan Clark.

“I’ve had a lot of these guys since they were 6 years old. Cameron, Adam, Cort, Nolan, they’ve been with me for a long time. They believed in the vision and went through the trials and tribulations of a 9-7 season a few years ago to where we are today.

We put ourselves in a position to be successful. Today it just didn’t happen.”


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