Tritons open season with sweep on pitch

Ex-Dodgers Love, Crimmins talk about year

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Mara Crimmins of Iowa Central dribbles down the field against Metropolitan on Thursday at Rogers Park

The opportunity to continue playing soccer in Fort Dodge has been nothing but a blessing for both Mara Crimmins and Raeya Love.

Former Fort Dodge Senior High standouts, Crimmins and Love are sophomores for the Iowa Central women on the pitch this fall after helping the team to a 13-3 record that included a runner-up finish in the ICCAC and in the regional tournament.

Crimmins and Love are far from the lone ex-Dodgers, as Makenzie Fuller and Leah Thompson are also on the roster, along with area players Ashley McLuckie and Amber Westling. McLuckie is a Manson Northwest Webster grad, while Westling played for Humboldt.

Iowa Central opened its season here on Thursday at Rogers Sports Complex with a 3-2 victory over Metropolitan.

The Tritons (1-0 overall) are back home on Saturday to play Lake Superior with conference action starting Sept. 10 against Iowa Lakes.

Fuller recorded one of the three goals along with Julia Herbst and Cecille Nahimana. Herbst and Dara Guimaraes each had an assist, as Meike Klever picked up the win by saving nine shots on 11 attempts.

Crimmins started 15 matches and appeared in all 16 as a freshman, scoring six goals and three assists for 15 points total. She had four shots and two on goal vs. Metropolitan, with Fuller recording four shots, including three on goal.

“Transitioning from high school soccer to college was a big change,” Crimmins said. “The speed of play and field dynamics became a lot quicker and the intensity level of play increased a lot. Another big change for me was the offseason and preseason commitment. In high school, you play your season and you’re done until next year.

“In college, you are practicing and spending time with your team all the time.”

Love was a 13-match starter and recorded an assist, with Fuller scoring four goals.

“When I first came in, I was nervous of what the girls on the team were going to be like and how our team would be as one,” Love said. “In high school, I already knew who I had on my team and what girls I would be playing with. I grew up playing with most of my high school teammates, so changing to a whole new set of girls was different.

“Having Kenzie and Mara coming in with me helped out a lot.”

Love has definitely noticed the interest in Triton soccer from the town.

“Playing college soccer here is great,” she said. “I get to have my family and friends at my games more than I would at a different college. I’m thankful for the Fort Dodge community and support they give me, whether that’s seeing me around town or on social media.”

Crimmins echoed those thoughts, adding that she wants to be a role model for future athletes to never give up their dreams.

“I am so lucky and grateful I have the opportunity to continue playing soccer here in Fort Dodge,” she said. “I hope the accomplishments I’ve made here at Iowa Central can inspire high school athletes to stay motivated and stick to their sport. I think too many athletes in high school quit too soon and miss out on amazing experiences they could have in college.

It’s also really cool having people from the Dodger community show support for the Tritons now.”

Triton men with 4-1 victory

Christian Koffi recorded a hat trick to lead the Tritons to a 4-1 victory over Metropolitan here Thursday at Rogers Sports Complex.

Koffi had the first two goals of the match and the final one. Mauro Garretano had the other goal with Matheus De Souza Luz, Ahmed Abdalla and Recardo Wleh each recording an assists.

Iowa Central finished with 19 shots in the match. The Tritons host Lake Superior on Saturday.