Chris Allen was almost speechless following his team’s latest impressive victory.
The Ankeny Centennial girls’ soccer squad remained unbeaten with a 2-0 victory over then-No. 1 Dowling Catholic on Thursday at Ankeny. It was the third shutout in four days for the Jaguars, who rose from 10th to third in the latest Class 3-A rankings.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls for the effort they put forth,” said Allen, whose team is now 5-0. “Ankeny was able to get (Dowling) earlier in the week, and we kind of picked up from there. I’m just kind of overwhelmed with excitement right now.
“I’m just so happy for the girls. They’ve put in a lot of hard work, and we came through a very tough week with three wins.”
Sophomore Kayla Grenier scored both of Centennial’s goals. She now leads the team with six goals on the season.
The Jaguars took a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute when Grenier fired a shot from just outside the penalty box. The ball deflected off a defender and went into the net.
“I think it just caught the keeper off guard,” Allen said.
Grenier later scored another unassisted goal in the 70th minute.
“Claire Dahm did a lot of work off the ball to create attention, and we were able to get the ball over to Kayla for another good shot,” Allen said. “That gave us a little breathing room.”
The loss dropped Dowling’s record to 2-2.
Centennial 2, Marshalltown 0
The visiting Jaguars scored two goals in the second half to defeat Marshalltown on April 14.
The Bobcats (0-2) kept the game close until Emily Fontana scored off an assist by Kate Johnson to put Centennial ahead for good. Johnson then later scored an insurance goal off an assist by Chloe Couves.
“Marshalltown is very physical and they also have a narrow field, so it was a little bit of a struggle to crack their defense but we finally did in the second half,” Allen said.
Centennial 1, Waukee 0
Meg Brandt scored the game’s only goal midway through the first half as the host Jaguars defeated No. 4 Waukee in their CIML Eastern Division opener on April 13.
It was the first game of the season for the Warriors, who have reached the Class 3-A semifinals in each of the last three years.
“I was really proud of how we played,” Allen said. “The girls settled into some possession play, and we were able to create some opportunities.”
Centennial dominated the contest, racking up 16 shots on goal. Couves had six of them.
Meanwhile, freshman goalkeeper Nahomi Lopez benefited from her team’s strong defensive play. She had just two saves for the Jaguars.
“I never would have guessed that we would hold Waukee to just two opportunities,” Allen said. “That was just a tremendous effort by our defense.”