Big weekend looms for JimmiesThe Jimmies have been very good at beating the teams they’re supposed to beat this season. They’re perfect, in fact, at 12-0. It’s the 50-50 or coin flip affairs they’re still trying to master, and they’ll get another crack at it today in Iowa against 22nd-ranked Ashford (9-2-3).
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The Jimmies have been very good at beating the teams they’re supposed to beat this season.
They’re perfect, in fact, at 12-0. It’s the 50-50 or coin flip affairs they’re still trying to master, and they’ll get another crack at it today in Iowa against 22nd-ranked Ashford (9-2-3).
Against similar teams — Montana heavyweights Great Falls and Rocky Mountain — the 12-2 Jimmies couldn’t get over the hump, but both games were tight, which is what coach Phillip Bohn expects today.
“It’s a big game in that they’re obviously a good team and we’re trying to keep climbing the ladder, so to speak,” Bohn said.
With the Modified RPI standings coming out Tuesday, which essentially determines which teams make the playoffs and where they’re seeded, today’s game takes on more significance. Both teams are essentially locks to make the NAIA playoffs, but the win would be a résumé booster for both.
“It’s not like if we win we’ll be seeded higher, or if they win, they will,” Bohn said. “There are several things that go into those rankings.”
The Jimmies’ 12 wins already in the bank certainly hold a lot of stock. Often times, they’ve been dominant. In their 14 matches, they’ve outscored their opponents by a whopping 28 goals (41-13).
They’ve gotten contributions from all over the place.
Jade Johnson, just a sophomore, has a team-leading 24 points, which includes nine goals. George Gauld has eight goals, Jack Keeling six. Dominic O’Connor and Ellis Riley each have four. Five others have two goals apiece, including top defender Matt Balshaw.
The Jimmies may again be without Keeling, their ace midfielder, who rolled an ankle Oct. 7. The sophomore from England will be back, but there’s no reason to rush.
“We want him to be fully healthy. We’re not going to push it with him,” Bohn said. “It’ll just depend on how the ankle responds.”
The trip Friday to the Quad Cities area of Iowa was the second 11-hour trip in less than a week for the Jimmies after they earned an impressive road win over St. Ambrose on Monday. After today’s game against Ashford they’ll play another quality team in Mount Mercy, Iowa (9-5-2).
“Part of taking the next step as a program is to play as many good teams as we can and hopefully win those games,” Bohn said. “That’s the challenge in front of us right now.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org