FDSH boys advance in opener

The Fort Dodge boys soccer team picked up a 1-0 victory here Monday night against Boone, advancing to the next round of postseason play.

Josh Harklau, a senior, netted the lone goal of the game in the second half, pushing the Dodgers (7-7-1 overall) into a Class 3A, Substate 2 semifinal against second-ranked (Class 3A) Johnston on Wednesday.

That game will be played in Johnston at 6:30 p.m. The winner moves on to face either Urbandale, Des Moines North or Ames on Saturday for a berth in the state tournament.

“We are gonna go in and play our game,” FDSH head coach Pablo Rodriguez said. “On any given night, things can go right for you and you can pull the win. We are going in there positive.

“Either way, win or lose, we’ve had a good season and our guys have shown a lot of improvement and a lot of maturity. That has been the key to our game and our success.”

Ethan Schwendeman made eight saves in net for Fort Dodge, which has won its last two games.

“We had many opportunities, we just couldn’t capitalize on them,” Rodriguez said. “Our guys passed the ball well and everybody who played contributed.”

Earlier this year, the Dragons (17-1) claimed a 5-0 victory over the Dodgers in Johnston. They have won 16 straight and outscored the last five teams they have played 29-0 during that span.

“They just have so many players and so many youth teams,” Rodriguez said. “It was only 1-0 at halftime, but our guys wore down and they scored four goals in the last 15 minutes (in the first meeting).”

Johnston has defeated seven ranked teams in its 16-game streak, including No. 6 (3A) Ankeny, 11th-ranked (3A) West Des Moines Valley, No. 9 (3A) Dowling Catholic, 12th-rated (3A) Ames, No 4 (2A) Norwalk, sixth-ranked (2A) Glenwood and No. 12 (2A) Newton.

In those seven games alone, the Dragons have scored 27 goals and surrendered zero.