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The Linn-Mar boys soccer team is starting to find consistency in a tough schedule

Lions posted back-to-back wins against 4A No. 5 Waukee Northwest and 3A No. 9 Cedar Rapids Xavier

Bryce Rosene of Linn-Mar

Bryce Rosene of Linn-Mar

MARION — It’s been a bit of a yo-yo season for the Linn-Mar boys soccer team.

The Lions have yet to lose consecutive games in 2024. On the other hand, they had not won consecutive games until Thursday.

Linn-Mar (4-3) finally broke the .500 mark with a 4-1 home win Thursday against Class 3A No. 9-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier (4-3). The win came just five days after a 1-0 blanking of 4A No. 5 Waukee Northwest.

“We haven’t played an easy game yet, and this wasn’t any easier,” Linn-Mar coach Corey Brinkmeyer said. “Xavier really competed, and kudos to Coach Sho (Takaoka) and their team. They put us in some compromising situations.”

One of the Lions’ problems this season has been taking advantage of good looks in net. Linn-Mar scored eleven goals in seven games this season.

“We just have to keep our heads down,” Linn-Mar senior Bryce Rosene said. “I mean, for me personally, if I miss one, I put my head down. But if we keep our heads in the game, sooner or later they will fall.”

The Lions bucked the trend on Thursday with a season-high four goals against the Saints. Brinkmeyer hopes his team can build on that offensive momentum.

“We’re starting to put it on target more and more, whereas before we were missing it,” Brinkmeyer said. “We weren’t even putting it on the frame, so small steps. As long as we peak at the right time, that’s all I care about.”

Rosene, Max Cassidy, Nathan Fish and Seth Comer all scored goals against Xavier.

“It felt good. We needed it,” Rosene said. “We definitely controlled most of the first half and then we finally started playing with the back of the net in the second half.”

Considering the opponents the Lions have played this season, it makes sense why scoring goals hasn’t been easy.

According to Bound’s power rankings, Linn-Mar has played the toughest schedule in the state.

The Lions faced four other ranked teams before facing Northwest and Xavier, falling to No. 1 Johnston, defeating No. 4 Bettendorf and No. 7 West Des Moines Valley and No. 3 Ankeny.

“We had a very tough schedule,” Brinkmeyer said. “We did that on purpose. We want to know who we are now versus later. The boys fought every game.”

Of their seven remaining games, three will be against ranked opponents (3A No. 7 Cedar Rapids Washington, 4A No. 6 Iowa City West and 4A No. 9 Dubuque Hempstead).

“If we score a little more, I would probably sleep a little easier at night,” Brinkmeyer said. “I think we know we are good. We just haven’t put all the pieces together on the same evening yet. If we can do that, especially against a good opponent, I think the sky is the limit.”