EPWORTH, Iowa — A canceled season zapped many programs of their top players.
That isn’t necessarily a problem for the Western Dubuque girls soccer program. The Bobcats can rely on Faith.
Both of them.
Faith Bower scored the game’s only goal and Faith Krapfl made three saves for her second shutout of the young season as the Bobcats beat rival Dyersville Beckman, 1-0, on Thursday at Buchman Field.
“It feels good just to get the win. It was a whole team effort,” Krapfl said. “You could say Faith and I were the backbone, but really, it’s a team effort. It’s nice to have these returners, but also it’s nice to have these new guys in here, too, and see what we can all do together.”
Bower and Krapfl are among three returning starters and seven other letterwinners from Western Dubuque’s 2019 team.
Bower is the team’s top returning point scorer after registering two goals and three assists as a sophomore. Krapfl made 135 saves while playing virtually every match in 2019.
“We couldn’t do it without Faith back there in the net,” Bower said. “You’ve seen the saves she makes. Without her back there it definitely would not be a 1-0 game. On offense I just try to do what I can and keep it out of Faith’s end.”
Bower gave the Bobcats an early lead with a shot from distance, dribbling to her right before placing a shot over the head of Beckman goalkeeper Reese Osterhaus from outside the penalty box in the 11th minute.
“Faith squared is what I call them,” Bobcats coach Cece Zangara said. “Their leadership this year is enough to build your entire program around. It definitely takes all 11 of them, but the leadership from Faith Bower up top and then the leadership from Faith Krapfl in the back, it just puts the whole entire team together.”
The Bobcats had two chances to make it 2-0 with 22 minutes left in the first half, but Osterhaus made a textbook save on a point-blank shot and WD’s second attempt bounced off the crossbar and Osterhaus safely covered it.
Osterhaus finished with five saves for Beckman. The Trailblazers had chances to equalize and held the ball in the Bobcats’ end of the field for several minutes to close the match.
Both teams finished with nine shots.
“Always a tough game,” Beckman coach Greg Keegan said. “They tried super hard in that last 7-8 minutes or whatever it was. hey made a push in the end to try to get the equalizer, but you’ve got 80 minutes of soccer. We started a little too late.”