Bettendorf’s Dustin Harris will probably never have this happen to him again during a soccer game.
The Bulldogs junior found himself clear of everyone and 1-on-1 with Davenport Assumption goalkeeper Lucas Castro during the second half of Thursday’s Mississippi Athletic Conference contest at Touvelle Stadium.
There was not a defender within 20 yards of Harris as he dribbled toward Castro up the middle of the field. But before Harris could get off a shot, Castro lunged at Harris and was able to corral the ball to prevent a third goal from the Bulldogs.
It made for a slightly comedic moment in an otherwise dominant performance by the home team as Bettendorf went on to the 3-0 victory. Harris already had one goal in the first half and he was part of a Bulldogs’ attack that outshot the Knights 18-3 for the game.
Harris looked to pick up his second goal when a good over the top pass of Assumption’s defense left Harris running free. But the Knights’ defenders — and even Harris himself — seemed to be waiting for the offsides call to come as the bewildering slow-moving play started to pan out.
“I was waiting for the flag to go up,” Harris said. “I made my run off the last defender and I was kind of looking around to see what would happen. I was going to dribble around him because he had the angle kind of cutoff but (Castro) made a play. But you are not going to have an easier chance.”
Bettendorf (2-0, 2-0 MAC) opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Dawson Gamble played a great centering pass to a streaking Justin Wehr who was able to beat Castro with a high shot into the net.
The duo of Harris and Castro were also involved in the second goal of the game in the 22nd minute. This time Castro made a save on an initial shot from Bettendorf’s Jack Dunn from outside the penalty area. But Castro could not quite hold onto the ball and a hustling Harris was able to get to the loose ball and put it into the back of the net.
“It’s all about hard work and keep playing,” Harris said of the play. “(Castro) tried to jump on it but it squirted past him. It was a lucky bounce but I was able to get to it.”
The constant pressure that Bettendorf kept on the Knights (2-3, 0-2) was a reason that these plays eventually turned into goals. The entire game the Bulldogs used pinpoint passing to find holes in Assumption’s defense that turned into numerous chances. Castro wound up having to make 10 saves in the game while the Bulldogs’ finishing probably was not polished in just the second game of the season.
But it was a good sign to Bettendorf coach Ben Pennington to see his team in such offensive rhythm so early in the season.
“I thought our rotation was really good and we kept up the pressure most of the game and I was very proud of that,” Pennington said. “Assumption is a really good team so for us to play this well is encouraging.”
The Bulldogs got their final tally with 30 seconds left when freshman Parker Beck scored off an assist from Zach Elias.
For the Knights, who were coming off a physical penalty shootout loss to Davenport Central on Tuesday, the chances were few and far between.
Assumption did have some chances in Bettendorf’s penalty area when long throws or free kicks did leave some loose balls free. But the Knights could never latch on to the chances in dangerous areas.
The Knights best chance came late in the first half when Ben Beutel made a strong run with just one defender close by. But Beutel’s high shot at the net was saved by Bulldogs keeper Sam Murphy.