FD girls can’t slow No. 3 Johnston

Pulling off a Senior Night upset never materialized for the Fort Dodge girls soccer team here Tuesday.

Held in check offensively from start to finish, the Dodgers (4-5 overall) dropped an 8-0 decision to third-ranked (Class 3A) Johnston inside Dodger Stadium.

“I felt like we came out real tense and were a little indecisive once we got the ball to our feet,” FDSH co-head coach Lindsay Boeckman said. “We just need to make sure we learn from this, continue to work hard and come back refocused and re-energized.”

Senior keeper Theresa Birzer, a Knox College recruit, provided a bright spot for the Dodgers with 22 saves.

Dominating possession time throughout, the unbeaten Dragons (11-0) netted five goals in the opening half, while tacking on three more insurance scores in the first nine minutes after the break. Lexi Willie managed a hat trick for defending state quarterfinalist Johnston, which has now outscored its opponents by a lopsided combined margin of 60-3 on the season. Eight of the Dragon victories this year have actually come via a shutout.

“I think (Johnston’s) decision-making is right up there with (No. 1 and nationally second-ranked Ankeny),” said Boeckman.

Birzer, Allison Becker, Kayla Olson and Katie Salinas all made their last regular-season home appearance for Fort Dodge.

“Our senior class does a nice job of leading by example,” Boeckman said. “They don’t always have to verbally communicate, but their presence is already known. They’ve been a huge asset to our program.”

In junior varsity action, the Dodgers also suffered a 5-0 setback to Johnston.

Looking to snap a four-game slide, FDSH visits No. 10 (3A) Ames (6-2) on Friday. Start time for the CIC Northern Division matchup is set for 7 p.m.