Muscatine, Ia. — An injury kept Grace and Mary Kate Fennelly from experiencing a state soccer championship season together.
On Saturday, the two shared a hug and the title.
The sisters helped top-ranked Davenport Assumption win its second straight Class 1-A title with a 4-0 victory over No. 3 Sioux City Heelan at the Muscatine Soccer Complex.
“This has been amazing,” said Mary Kate, a junior defender for Assumption. “I never expected it once high school started. It’s especially great getting to do it with my sister.
The two sisters have been preparing for the season, the celebration and the hug for years.
Grace, a senior forward, missed her sophomore and junior seasons while nursing injuries.
When the Knights won last season’s title, she kept score on the bench.
“It was kind of a bittersweet moment, though, because I didn’t get to actually play on the field,” Grace said.
Grace, who had suffered her second torn ACL her sophomore season and a torn meniscus her junior season, watched her sister become a key contributor.
The experience was tough for both.
“It hit us hard because I was expecting to play with her throughout high school,” Mary Kate said.
The two, who helped Assumption win a state basketball championship in the winter, hoped to share success on the pitch.
Mary Kate scored a goal and added an assist for Assumption, which won its 40th straight match dating to last season.
Grace helped put Assumption ahead 4-0 with an assist on Kristin Ketelaar’s goal in the 69th minute.
“It feels awesome to have this with her,” Grace said.
Mary Kate, along with Maddie Irmen, Rose Ripslinger and Danielle Moore were named to the all-tournament team.
Moore was selected as captain of the team after helping Assumption cap its season with a 23-0 record.
“This is a skilled group of girls,” Assumption coach Rob Eckert said.
Goals by Ripslinger and Moore put Assumption ahead 2-0 within the first 15 minutes.
“They’re a great team,” Heelan (18-2) coach Shawn Mansfield said. “I was impressed with the way they played. Kind of like playing against a track team with soccer skills. They’re fast all over and they’re very skilled and well-coached.”
The Knights will return every starter next season but lose three seniors, including the oldest Fennelly.
Grace will head to college in the fall while Mary Kate will prepare for her senior year at Assumption.
“I’m going to miss it a lot,” Mary Kate said of playing with her sister.
Sioux City Heelan0 0–0
Davenport Assumption3 1–4
First half–Ripslinger (M. Kate Fennelly) 11:00; D. Moore 14:21; M. Kate Fennelly (Behan) 38:57.
Second half–Ketelaar (G. Fennelly) 68:10.
Mary Kate Fennelly, Davenport Assumption
Sam Tymkowicz, Sioux City Heelan
Maddie Irmen, Davenport Assumption
Michaela Matuska, Nevada
Regan McLaughlin, Waterloo Columbus
Reagan Saunders, Nevada
Ashlee Sinnott, Waterloo Columbus
Tayler Koolstra, Sioux City Heelan
Rose Ripslinger, Davenport Assumption
Makayla Wessling, Sioux City Heelan
Danielle Moore, Davenport Assumption