DES MOINES — Monday’s non-conference battle between Des Moines Lincoln and Perry at Cownie Park was all anyone on either side could ask for, as both team played at a high level throughout the contest.
What appeared to be heading to overtime in a scoreless tie instead became a 1-0 win for the host Railsplitters, who managed to find a crease in the Bluejay defense on a counter-attack and score the lone goal of the game with less than 10 minutes to play.
“Our kids played well and we held our own, we just didn’t play well enough to win,” Perry head coach Gary Overla said. “All the coaching staff is very proud of the effort given tonight by all the kids. Lincoln is a quality 3A school and would definitely give an 2A school a run for their money, so for us to battle the way we did and give ourselves the opportunity to compete at such a high level — I will always take that.”
Lincoln (10-3) is approximately three times the size of Perry (12-3) with a classification number of 1,639 students while Perry — who shares with Panorama and thus must count their students — is listed at 631.
“The level of play we had in wins over some of our other opponents this year certainly does not equal the level of play we had tonight in this loss,” Overla said. “I told the kids that now that we know that we can compete at that high level, we have to challenge ourselves when we walk out onto the field with opponents and not play down to their level, but continue to play up to the level that we are capable of. A tough loss, but hopefully the lesson is long-lasting.”
Perry did emerge victorious in the junior varsity contest with a 1-0 triumph. Freshman Anthony Velasco had the goal for the JV Jays.
Perry returns to action Thursday with a trip to Pella. They will conclude their regular season Friday when Indianola visits Dewey Field.