After COVID-19 canceled Iowa high school soccer last year, the boys’ state tournament has once again descended upon the Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.
And we’re already at the semifinals.
The Class 1A, Class 2A and Class 3A semifinals are being played Thursday, from the afternoon through the evening. In 1A, the semifinalists are: Notre Dame-West Burlington, Iowa City Regina, West Liberty and Western Christian. In 2A, the semifinalists are: Cedar Rapids Xavier, ADM, Dallas Center-Grimes and Bondurant-Farrar. And in 3A, the semifinalists are Iowa City West, West Des Moines Valley, Johnston and Pleasant Valley.
Check back here all day for recaps of all the semifinal action on Thursday.
Class 1A: Western Christian 2, West Liberty 1
While the teams in the other Class 1A semifinal Thursday combined for six goals, West Liberty and Western Christian played a more defensive semifinal. In the end, though, Western Christian’s two unanswered goals led it to a 2-1 win over the Comets.
The Wolfpack advance to Saturday’s state title game at noon against top-seeded Notre Dame-West Burlington, which defeated No. 4 Iowa City Regina in its semifinal.
The Comets end their season at 16-4.
West Liberty got on the board first in the 35th minute, when Jahsiah Galvan, who is also a three-star football prospect, poked one through after Western Christian was unable to clear a corner kick. The score remained 1-0 at halftime.
Then, in the 50th minute, the Wolfpack answered to tie the game when Bailey Baccam scored on a penalty kick to make it 1-1.
Western Christian scored the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute, when Eli Van Essen capitalized on a free kick that deflected off the Comet goalkeeper’s hands.
Class 1A: Notre Dame-West Burlington 4, Iowa City Regina 2
Iowa City Regina’s quest to repeat as state soccer champion ended just short Thursday.
The fourth-seeded Regals lost to top-seeded Notre Dame-West Burlington 4-2 in the Class 1A boys’ state soccer semifinals at the Cownie Soccer Park in Des Moines. Notre Dame-West Burlington jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 58th minute, and the Regals weren’t able to claw their way back against the tournament favorite.
Cole Ward got the Nikes on the board with a goal in the 30th minute to put his team up 1-0. That lead became 2-0 with a goal from Sam Brueck in the 50th minute, and it swelled to 3-0 in the 58th minute with Brueck’s second goal of the day.
The Regals responded with their first goal in the 63rd minute when Alec Wick scored a header off a free kick from Kaleab Wendy. But, just two minutes later, Notre Dame-West Burlington’s Gabe Zurita answered back with a goal to put the Nikes up 4-1 in the 65th minute, effectively ending Regina’s comeback attempt.
Regina finishes its season at 12-8.
The Nikes improve to 22-1 and will play in the 1A title game Saturday at noon.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Drake basketball and pretty much anything else under the sports sun for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.