The fall athletics programs at Central College put in another full weekend. Here’s a quick look back at Saturday and Sunday for the Dutch.
For the second time in three games, the Central College women’s soccer team delivered some last-minute magic, resulting in a 1-0 Iowa Conference season-opening win over Luther College Saturday. Forward Brittany Hinton took a pass from midfielder Julie Wunder and knocked home the game’s only score with just 55 seconds remaining to extend Central’s school-record winning streak to six games. It was Hinton’s first goal of the season. The thrilling victory lifts the Central women’s soccer team to 8-2 overall. The Dutch, who have played 9 games in 17 days, will get a couple days to rest before taking on Grand View University on Tuesday in Des Moines.
Senior forward Ralph Palmeri knocked home the game-winning goal on a corner kick as the Central College men’s soccer team opened Iowa Conference play with a 1-0 decision over Luther College Saturday. Palmeri scored in the 59th minute, with the ball rolling off Luther goalkeeper Peter Wright’s fingertips into the upper left corner of the net. It’s Palmeri’s second goal of the year. Defending league champion Luther outshot Central 19-12 and held an 11-7 second-half advantage. The Norse reached the top 16 of the NCAA Div. III championships last year. The victory snaps a three-game losing streak where the Dutch (3-4-1 overall, 1-0 conference) faced two regionally ranked opponents. The Central men’s soccer team is now 3-4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Iowa Conference. They’ll host NAIA Culver-Stockton College 3 p.m. Tuesday in Pella. It’s the first ever meeting between the two teams.
Senior Chelsea Johnson picked up a crucial singles win to fuel the Central College women’s tennis team to a 5-4 decision over Morningside College Saturday. With a 9-0 sweep of Grand View University earlier in the day, the Dutch rolled up their fifth consecutive victory. Central won two of the three doubles points before Johnson took control at No. 3 singles with a 6-2, 6-3 win. She’s 3-0 this season in singles play. The Dutch are now 8-1 have a tough stretch ahead. Central hosts defending league champion Coe College Wednesday and meet Wartburg College and Luther College next Saturday on the road.
Central College sophomore Josh Forst took runner-up honors in the B flight of the Iowa Conference men’s tennis individual tournament Saturday. Forst reached the semifinals Saturday morning with an 8-4 victory over Luther’s Sean Brown, but was defeated by Coe’s Geoffrey Brochet, 8-2, in the finals. Sophomore Tim Kahl followed with a third-place finish in the B flight. Kahl suffered an 8-1 loss in the quarterfinals and took third by a walkover, or forfeit, against Luther’s Brown. In the C flight, David Bouska placed second. He topped Buena Vista’s Dillon Nevius 8-1 before falling to champion Coy Weigmann of Wartburg. Singles matches were shortened to eight-point pro sets after rain delays Friday pushed most of the play indoors.
Meanwhile, Forst and Collin Schares finished fourth in the doubles B flight. The tandem bounced back from an 8-6 loss to Coe to outlast a different Coe duo, 9-8 (3-0). The Dutch wrap up their abbreviated fall schedule with dual October 2 against Grand View at 3:30 p.m. in Des Moines.
Central College ended a six-game losing streak with a pair of encouraging volleyball victories Saturday at the Grinnell College Invitational. The Dutch swept Rockford College 25-18, 25-15, 25-18, then outlasted Grinnell in a 23-25, 25-20, 26-28, 25-20, 15-12 victory. Setter Claire Stewart received all-tournament team recognition and the Dutch improved to 3-10. Right-side hitter Sam Retz led the Dutch with nine kills against Rockford. Stewart had 27 assists and libero Tori Zempel dug 15 balls. Central used a balanced attack against Grinnell with four hitters tallying double-digit kills. Pedersen and middle hitter Hannah Welter had 11 apiece and outside hitters Tess Reinig and Jessica Laflin each had 10 kills. Stewart tallied 46 assists and Zempel had 17 digs. Up next for the Central College volleyball team is an Iowa Conference clash with the University of Dubuque.
Central College met William Penn University in a women’s golf dual Sunday for a final tune-up before the Iowa Conference tournament. William Penn outshot the Dutch 325 to 343 on the par-72 Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls, the same course used for the first two rounds of the league tourney. Natalie Booton and Demi Coertze led the individual race with 79. Central’s Kelsey Van Tasell, a sophomore from Pella, tied for third with a career-best 80. The Dutch have taken runner-up honors at the league tournament the past four years. The first two rounds of the 72-hole tourney are played Friday and Saturday at Pheasant Ridge. The final two rounds of the tournament will be played Oct. 5-6 at Central’s home course, the Bos Landen Golf Club.
The Central College men’s golf team shaved 28 strokes off its first-round score to place third at the 18-team University of Dubuque Fall Invitational Sunday. After posting 323 Saturday, the Dutch came back with Sunday’s best round at 295 for 618 at the Dubuque Golf and Country Club. Clarke University claimed the team title at 309-298—607, followed by Kirkwood Community College at 308-302—610. Central’s second team, the White squad, tied for fourth at 313-312—625. David Watson led the Red team at 80-72—152 and tied for seventh. Central travels Minneapolis, Minnesota, Friday for the 54-hole Twin Cities Classic. Each round is played at a different course.