ANKENY vs. WAUKEE
MUSCATINE, Ia. — Two years from now, Ankeny sophomore Sarah Brandt will try to start a girls’ soccer tradition at Centennial High School.
On Friday, Brandt helped make a lasting memory for her current school. Aubree Larson scored two goals in the final 7 minutes, one on Brandt’s assist, to beat Waukee 2-1 in a Class 3-A state semifinal at the Muscatine Soccer Complex.
The Hawkettes kept their dream of winning back-to-back state championships alive. Brandt said she aims to load up the trophy case before she begins attending Centennial High School in the 2013 school year.
“I want to make sure that there’s a good memory at the end,” Brandt said.
Ankeny (20-0) ran its winning streak to 31 straight matches. The top-ranked Hawkettes will face Cedar Rapids Kennedy in the championship at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Waukee’s Stephanie Williams launched a 40-yard goal in the opening minute of the second half.
Williams kicked the ball behind the Ankeny defense and it trickled into the goal.
“I looked up and (the keeper) had come out,” Williams said. “I kicked it and it rolled in.”
The scoreboard stayed at 1-0 until 7:05 remained in the game.
Larson scored on a pass from Brandt.
“It went right through them and she finished it,” Brandt said.
Less than 5 minutes later, Larson added another goal on a pass from Amber Nieland.
“You persevered — that is your character,” Ankeny coach Chris Allen told his team during the postgame huddle.
Waukee finished the season at 14-6. The team started the year at 2-4.
“At the start of the season, things were really bumpy,” senior Clarissa Hunzeker said. “Then we got used to playing each other. Everything started going really well.”
Ankeny beat Waukee by the same score on May 22.
Williams also scored Waukee’s only goal in the previous matchup. She led her team with 18 goals this season.
“It’s been a team effort, Williams said. “We really worked together as a team.”
In the previous meeting, Ankeny and Waukee were tied for much of the match.
“We knew any mistake we made, they could take advantage of it,” said Waukee’s Tony Gabriel, who shares coaching duties for the team.
Now, the Hawkettes have a chance for a repeat crown.
“I think it’s our duty to keep doing what they did last year,” said senior defender Julia Wiener, who also played last season.
Waukee 0 1 — 1
Ankeny 0 2 — 2
Second half–W: Williams 41:00; A: Larson (S.Brandt) 73:00; A: Larson (Nieland) 77:00.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy 1, Bettendorf 0
MUSCATINE, Ia. — Kaela Dickerman unleashed a second-half shot from about 30 yards out, wondering where it might go.
The shot sent her team straight to Saturday’s finals.
Second-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy stunned No. 2 Bettendorf 1-0 in a Class 3-A semifinal at the Muscatine Soccer Complex on Friday night.
“I was just trying to get it on goal,” Dickerman said of her go-ahead goal. “Hopefully it would hit the post and someone could rebound or something.”
No one had a chance to make a play on the looping shot that barley made it over the hands Bettendorf’s goalkeeper before settling in the back of the net, breaking a scoreless tied in the 73rd minute.
“She’s very creative and she’s got a cannon for a right foot,” Kennedy coach Andrew McKnight said. ” We knew if we kept her in their long enough, she would an opportunity.”
Bettendorf (18-3) coach Todd Hornaday was impressed with the shot that sent the Bulldogs (18-3) home.
“To lose on a fluke goal or a bad goal would have been one thing,” Hornaday said. “But, it took Kennedy’s best shot to get by us.”
Kennedy (16-4) has a chance to knock off another big opponent today.
The Cougars will take on last season’s champions, top-ranked Ankeny (20-0) in Saturday’s finals at 4 p.m.
Dickerman said her teammates have surprised even themselves.
“I’m so excited,” Dickerman said. “I’m so glad we are going to the finals.”
— Tommy Birch
C.R. Kennedy 0 1 — 1
Bettendorf 0 0 — 0
Second half–Dickerman 72:14.