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Boys Soccer: West Beats City High With Two 2nd Half Goals

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IOWA CITY, Iowa The big distraction worked in the big game.

Prom is this weekend for Iowa City West. Perfect timing, boy's soccer coach Brad Stiles said. Maybe his players thought about their dates or tuxes instead of obsessing about No. 2 Iowa City High.

It worked.

The third-ranked Trojans scored twice in the second half and slowed down the Little Hawks' offense in a 3-1 victory Tuesday night at the University of Iowa Soccer Complex.

"Maybe with prom being Saturday they didn't have a lot of time to think about it," Stiles said of a rivalry game that arguably had bigger stakes this year.

West (8-1) broke a 1-1 halftime deadlock with a goal from Paris Martins with 24 minutes left.

City High put some pressure on in the second half with some impressive long-distance shots a few hit off the post or crossbar or just sailed over the net.

West's Ryan O'Deen hammered in the clinching goal with 6 minutes left, knocking in a rebounded shot of the City High goalkeeper.

"It was a scramble play," O'Deen said. "I just ran in and hit it in."

O'Deen said some drills can try to replicate the quick reflexes needed in those pinball situations, but it's more about the unique situation in the game.

Presence and feel matter, and the junior's instincts paid off.

"He's been working hard and hasn't had the best of luck this season," Stiles said. "He found himself in the right place at the right time."

Omar El Ramady started the scoring for the Trojans with a goal with 12 minutes left in the first half.

West had controlled possession through that point, but City High (9-1) responded quickly.

The Little Hawks put together a series of good looks and the aggressiveness paid off.

West was called for a handball in the penalty box with 3 minutes left in the half. City High's Fernando Pacheco promptly drilled the penalty kick for a 1-1 tie at the break.

The highlight of the game came after another handball in the penalty box. The Little Hawks committed the foul this time, giving West's Mueng Sunday a penalty kick just two minutes into the second half.

Sunday's kick was solid, but City High senior Chris Evans guessed right the left side, in this case and batted away the ball heading for the bottom corner of the goal.

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