TRAVIS J. BROWN
When Bettendorf midfielder Xavier Potts lost the ball near the Davenport Assumption goal late in Monday’s match, he was determined to get it back.
There hadn’t been many scoring chances for the Bulldogs in the Mississippi Athletic Conference contest, so every opportunity was crucial.
Potts regained possession of the ball on the left side of the field, then slid a shot into the far right corner of the net from 15 yards out. The goal, which came in the match’s 71st minute, lifted the 3A 14th-ranked Bulldogs to a 1-0 win over the top-ranked team in Class 1A at Jack and Pat Bush Stadium.
“I just didn’t want to give up on the play,” said Potts, who scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season. “If you lose the ball, you have to work as hard as you can to win it back. .I was fortunate enough to get it back.
“Luke (Klostermann is) a great defender. I’ve played with him for a long time. I knew I just had to beat him one way and then shoot back post because I saw the goalie was kind of hugging the front post.”
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Bettendorf (11-5, 6-2 MAC) was able to outlast the Knights and snap a three-match losing skid.
“I think some of their guys might have run out of gas,” Bettendorf head coach Ben Pennington said. “Our bench goes a little bit deeper. I actually used two sophomores, James Porter and Elias Lightfoot. They stepped in and gave us quality I thought the bench gave us an opportunity to rest some guys. ”
Assumption’s Charlie Leinart missed a late shot over the crossbar, and the Knights saw their five-match winning streak come to an end.
“We started a little slow tonight,” Assumption head coach Greg Zeller said. “We slowly built the momentum. The second half was much better than the first half.”
Assumption (7-5, 2-4 MAC) was able to connect a few more passes in the second half. Klostermann also sprinted back several times to break up what could have been Bulldog one-on-ones with Assumption keeper Alex Milton.
“There’s no quit in that kid,” Zeller said of Klostermann. “He plays hard.”
Bettendorf took seven shots on goal in the match to four for Assumption. The Bulldogs nearly scored in the second minute of the match when Landon Potts got a one-on-one with Milton, but Milton made the stop.
“In the first half, I thought we had two quality chances and we just couldn’t put them in,” Pennington said.
But with just under 10 minutes remaining in the match, Xavier Potts was able to get past the Assumption defense and sneak a shot into the net.
“They have a great back line,” Xavier Potts said. “They have a couple of great center defensive mids in Sammy Burkhart and Charlie Leinart. The guys who play back there are super good. We knew it would be tough to score a lot of goals on them. It was super important to find the back of the net. It was awesome to come away with a win after having a few tough losses. ”