MUSCATINE, Ia. — Ankeny forward Aubree Larson made herself look good by making others look even better.
The sophomore set a school record with her 13th assist this season in the top-ranked Hawkettes’ 2-0 win over Linn-Mar of Marion Thursday in a Class3-A state girls’ soccer quarterfinal at the Muscatine Soccer Complex.
Larson trained herself to be generous with her passes.
“I just have to learn that it’s not about me, it’s about the team,” Larson said.
Ankeny’s Mary Brandt scored 22 minutes into the opening half. Amber Nieland added a goal with about 3minutes left in the match on Larson’s assist.
The defending state champs improved to 19-0 this season and extended the program’s winning streak to 30 games. The Hawkettes will play CIML rival Waukee in a semifinal at 7:15p.m. today.
Linn-Mar ended the season at 13-7.
Larson said she has made herself into a strong passer.
Her advice: You have to have your head on a swivel, keeping your eyes open for teammates, she said. When they’re making great runs, get them the ball.
A year ago, Ankeny required penalty kicks to win a quarterfinal against Cedar Rapids Washington.
Not so this time.
“You definitely don’t want to see penalty kicks,” Ankeny coach Chris Allen said. “It gives us 20 minutes rest now.”
Ankeny later won the state championship with a shootout against Iowa City West.
The Hawkettes relaxed once Brandt scored.
“It really takes the pressure off our shoulders,” Larson said.
Nieland scored her 20th goal of the season, a team high. Brandt ranks second on the team with 14.
They helped provide talent that has given Ankeny an unbeaten season following last year’s title.
“No one thought we’d get to where we are now,” Larson said.
Linn-Mar (Marion) 0 0–0
Ankeny 1 1–2
First half–Brandt 22:00
Second half–Nieland (Larson) 77:00