For most teams, the postseason is usually a microcosm of their regular season play.
This was the case for the Cody boys soccer team at the state tournament in Jackson last week. It showed a few good moments, but could not string together enough consistency. The Broncs finished sixth with a 1-2 record at the tournament.
“I felt like we had our moments where we played well,” Jansma said. “We were just a little too direct with our passes and would get impatient with the ball. It’s something that just comes from a fairly young team.”
Buffalo 1, Cody 0
Cody opened the tournament with a 1-0 overtime loss Thursday to Buffalo.
After battling toe-to-toe with the Bison for 80 minutes the Broncs were able to force overtime thanks to strong goal tending from Ethan Asay.
“It was a battle on both ends,” Jansma said. “Both goalies made big saves.”
With two minutes left in the first overtime period, Buffalo scored on a lucky goal. A short, corner kick cross pass sent through the penalty box inadvertently bounced off a Bronc head and into the goal.
“We really couldn’t have done much about it,” Juan Hernandez said.
Cody still had about 12 minutes left to score and possibly force a shoot out but could not do so, despite getting a few close chances.
Cody 2, Douglas 0
The team bounced back in a 2-0 victory over Douglas on Friday.
Kaleb Morris and Hernandez scored for Cody against the Bearcats.
The teams played to a scoreless tie in the first half but the Broncs were able to find their mojo in the game’s second frame.
“We’ve kind of been a second half team all year,” Jansma said.
Hernandez scored first in the 51st minute.
After Logan Dehnert sent a risky pass into the penalty box from a midfield free kick, Jackson Golden was able to chip the ball over to Hernandez, who then sent it home near a back goal post.
“I got a nice pass and just kicked it in,” Hernandez said. “My teammates created it for me.”
Cody had a bit of a scare when a Douglas player collided with Asay and he was slow to get up. Asay came out of the game but returned a short while later.
Morris added an insurance goal in the 78th minute when he kicked home a loose ball amid a pack of players. Hernandez crossed the ball in front of the net to Morris for the score.
“I was proud of our effort,” Hernandez said.
Torrington 4, Cody 1
In the 5th place match Cody lost 4-1 to Torrington.
Despite it being their most lopsided loss of the tournament, Jansma said his Broncs got off to their strongest start in the Saturday loss.
Just three minutes in Jakoby Vipperman scored for Cody to take a 1-0 lead.
Vipperman got his goal after Kai Lynn passed over to him on the right. Vipperman wound up from the edge of the penalty box, just chipping over the goalie’s outstretched hands. It was his first goal of the season and last as a Cody Bronc, as he’s set to graduate in less than two weeks.
“It was good to see that,” Jansma said.
Jansma said his Broncs started to lose their focus around the 20th minute and then let in a indirect free kick in the 28th.
“The wheels started slowly falling off after that,” Jansma said.
Torrington scored again in the 44th minute but it was waved off due to an offsides call. However just two minutes later the Trailblazers scored on a corner kick.
A questionable foul in the 63rd led to a Torrington free kick just outside the box on the left side. The kick headed into the net for another goal.
The Trailblazers’ final goal came in the 66th minute when they passed the ball ahead inside the box for the goal.
A Cody goal was waved off due to an infraction when Paul Lovera headed in a corner kick, but a teammate was called for obstruction of the keeper.
“If we did get that goal I think it would’ve been a different game,” Jansma said. “It really took the wind out of our sails. We needed that to boost us up.”
The Trailblazers added one more before the clock ticked off.
“You never want to be a team that only plays part of a game,” Jansma said. “If you want to be able to compete against the best in state you really have to always be on.”
Not helping matters for the Broncs was inconsistent officiating between the Douglas and Torrington games, with much stricter calls enforced in the latter.
All four Cody defenders received yellow cards during the match, as did three Torrington players.
The team was also shorthanded with starters Kai Lynn and Hunter Hays battling injuries and illness over the tournament.
The Broncs (9-10) still came away with a number of positives the team can draw from its season.
After losing a strong senior core from last year the team was still able to win nearly half its games and qualify for state after finishing third in the 3A West conference. Cody also won its first state game since 2017.
“It was an improvement on last year,” Jansma said. “But we were a little disappointed with state. We know we could’ve done a little bit better.”
The Broncs should be a competitive side in 2020, returning their top three point earners.
“Next year we’ll come back a little bit older and a little more mature,” Jansma said. “We’re not losing a ton of seniors and have a strong young core.