Fri, Jun 01, 2018 03:06 PM 
DES MOINES – The number one seeded Pella Little Dutch advanced to the semi-finals of the 2A Iowa State High School Athletic Association Boys State Soccer Tournament over the Perry Blue Jays. Goals in each half by senior Ethan Poulter were the difference as the Dutch overcame a late Perry goal in the second half on another hot day at the James Cownie Soccer Complex. Pella found success at the beginning of the game by playing through sophomore Drake Beard, who bossed the game's first quarter on the left wing. The Little Dutch struck first in the 28th minute when Poulter bent a free kick put around Perry's wall. The remainder of the half consisted of a couple threatening chances by Pella and an occasional chance from Perry. Pella centerback Joseph Bacon impressed throughout by cutting out multiple balls played by Perry's midfielders. Both teams' performances must have impressed the college scouts in attendance, including Western Illinois coach Eric Johnson, who was spotted watching the match. The early part of the second half was controlled by Pella, and in the 50th minute, Poulter struck again for the Little Dutch with a technical finish from close range. Down 2-0, Perry worked hard to get back into the game. Perry freshman Mario Saldana's efforts were notable. He is one of the best players we have seen, freshman or otherwise, and was quick, technical and continued to run at the backline of Pella. Perry got one back in the 76th minute, but it was too little too late and Pella won the game 2-1. Perry ends their season at 11-11 but should be a force next year with Saldana leading their attack. Pella advances to play Cedar Rapids Xavier at 2:30pm on field 9 at the James Cownie Soccer Complex. Be sure to check out the Kick it Forward Twitter feed and Facebook page for highlights of the game.