COUNCIL BLUFFS — Starters rested. Seven players scored. Even the weather was nice.
The Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson girls soccer team couldn't have hoped for much more from its postseason opener.
Playing for the third time in as many days, the Jackets ended their outing early with a 10-0 victory over Atlantic in an Iowa Class 2-A regional game Thursday at City Park. Sophomore Samantha Arnold had a hat trick, and the contest ended by the margin-of-victory rule with 7:30 remaining when junior Hayleigh Boell scored her first varsity goal.
“I hope nobody takes offense to the score, but this is regionals,” T.J. coach Mark Royer said. “It saved us some legs, and this time of year you have to do it. We just played within our game and did what we were supposed to do.”
Thomas Jefferson (10-9) will take on 2-A No. 10 ADM (13-3) in a Region 2 semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Adel. The schools didn't meet this spring, but the Jackets won 3-2 in overtime during a regular-season match last year.
The shots came early and often for the Jackets, who put up 28 on goal and a whopping 60 overall. Atlantic managed just one — a slow dribbler in the 72nd minute — while defending on its own side of the field for the vast majority of the afternoon.
Along with Arnold's trifecta, Alison Arnold, Loren Hemiller, Haley Cox, Nikki Zika, Tricia Brown and Boell each found the back of the net. Atlantic also gave up an own goal. Samantha Arnold got her team's first goal in the second minute.
The Trojanns (3-12) wrapped up a bumpy season in which they scored one or zero goals 13 times. Their many multi-sport athletes were outclassed Thursday by the Jackets, many of whom play soccer throughout the year.
Atlantic coach Joanne Sandage, who started the program seven years ago, said youth teams in town are only beginning to pay dividends at the high school level.
“They did a lot of nice give-and-goes on us, a lot of nice runs that we weren't picking up,” Sandage said. “Our girls are tired, and we just didn't win the free balls. That's a good team, and they move the ball very, very well. We had not seen that type of ball movement yet.”
Thomas Jefferson lost its opening playoff game last year in Class 3-A before moving down a level this spring.
“I was pretty pleased with the effort,” Royer said. “We wanted to use the width of the field and the length of the field against (Atlantic) because they aren't used to these big of fields. I think that took its toll on them pretty quick.”
Atlantic (3-12).........................................0 0—0
C.B. Thomas Jefferson (10-9)...............4 6—10
Goals: TJ, Samantha Arnold 3, Alison Arnold, Loren Hemiller, Haley Cox, Nikki Zika, Tricia Brown, Hayleigh Boell, Atlantic own goal. Assist: TJ, Shelby Gwennap.