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Spartans advance against Highland

Possible substate final against No. 2 Iowa Mennonite Saturday
Isaac Vang battles for the ball during Solon’s 5-0 win over Highland. (photo by Doug Lindner

SOLON– Solon’s varsity boys took their first step toward a trip to the state soccer tournament Monday.
The Spartans took care of business against one-win Highland Riverside in the opening round of Class 1A Substate 5 soccer May 21, dispatching the Huskies 5-0 at Spartan Stadium.
The win advanced Solon to a semifinal Wednesday, May 23, against Holy Trinity Catholic- Fort Madison, which defeated Central Lee 2-0 in a quarterfinal Monday evening in Burlington.
A victory over Holy Trinity would put the Spartans in the Substate 5 final with a berth in the Class 1A state tournament on the line Saturday, May 26, beginning at 7 p.m. in Solon facing either No. 2 Iowa Mennonite or Notre Dame/West Burlington.
Solon dominated Highland in the opening round, despite only a 1-0 halftime lead on a goal by junior Luke McInnis. McInnis worked the ball into the box and delivered the shot surrounded by four Huskies in the 25th minute.
The Spartans continually controlled the midfield and the match, keeping play on the Huskies’ side of the pitch the entire first period.
In the second period, junior Jorel Justus, sophomore Bennett Meier (two) and freshman Gabe Yetley added insurance goals for the 5-0 tally.
Justus had Solon’s lone assist.
The Spartans had 11 corner kicks, while senior keeper Eric Weetman was untested protecting his goal.
The win moved Solon to 14-5 on the season.
The Spartans dropped to No. 3 in the Class 1A Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association rankings released May 16, replaced by Iowa Mennonite (16-1), setting up a possible showdown between the two teams in the May 26 substate final.