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Solon goes 2-1 in home tourney

Two matches decided by penalty kicks
Solon keeper Eric Weetman collects the ball during the Spartans’ home varsity classic.

SOLON– Two matches decided by penalty kicks.
One loss, one win.
It was a bitter wind that blew Saturday, April 7, as the varsity Solon team picked up its first loss of the season against Albia at the Spartan Classic Soccer Tournament.
The Blue Demons prevailed 1-0 after a 3-0 penalty kick (pk) shoot-out, but the Spartans rebounded for a shortened 10-0 victory over Prince of Peace, and capped the day by winning another pk battle, this time against Fairfield.
The Spartans broke a 2-2 tie in regulation with a 5-3 win in extra kicks.
The win moved Solon to 6-1 for the season.
The Spartans were ranked No. 5 preseason by the Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association and moved up into a tie for the No. 4 spot in rankings released April 3, when Solon was 3-0.
The Spartans picked up their fourth win that evening hosting the Liberty High Lightning.
The Lightning struck first on a goal by Liberty’s Kolby Godbolt, but the Spartans unleashed seven unanswered scores before Godbolt connected again in the second period, and Solon finished with an 8-2 win. The two Liberty goals were the first of the season against the Spartan defense and keeper senior Eric Weetman.
Junior Jorel Justus led Solon offensively with a hat trick (three goals), while junior Luke McInnis knocked in two. Sophomore Bennett Meier, freshman Gabe Yetley and junior Luke Yetley scored one goal apiece.
Assists came from Justus (two), senior Isaac Vang and Luke Yetley (two).
A cold, strong wind was blowing across Spartan Stadium later in the week as Solon hosted the Spartan Classic. Six teams dealt with the stiff breeze and the accompanying chilly temperatures.
The Spartans fell in their opening pool play match to Albia, and defeated Prince of Peace before facing Fairfield in bracket play.
Against Prince of Peace, Justus led the team again with four goals, with Vang adding his own hat trick. Sophomore Braxton Hobbs, junior Ben McAtee and Gabe Yetley provided the remaining scoring with a goal each.
Junior Drew Bruck and Gabe Yetley provided an assist each in the 10-0 shut out.
Weetman went untested during half a period of play in the goal, and was relieved by senior Ryan Sears.
It was a tighter match in bracket play against the Trojans of Fairfield.
Gabe and Luke Yetley each had a goal in regulation to knot the score at 2-2, and it again came down to penalty kicks. Justus, McInnis, senior Nick Radcliffe, Vang and Luke Yetley each converted pk attempts for the overtime 3-2 win.
Matches against South Tama (April 6) and Marion (April 9) were cancelled.
The Spartans head to Dyersville to face Beckman Catholic Friday, April 13, and stay on the road with a visit to Manchester Monday, April 16, to play West Delaware. Solon returns home Friday, April 20, to host Anamosa.