Davenport Assumption, ranked sixth at the state soccer tourney despite a winning record against several 2A and 3A teams, upset No. 2 Beckman 2-0 in semifinal action at the IGHSAA state soccer tourney at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines June 3. Assumption went on to win the title over Western Christian 2-1.
The loss ended the Blazers’ stellar season at 16-4, giving the 12 seniors on the team their first, and last, experience at the state level.
“It had been such a long time for us to get back there,” said coach Mirek Laskowski, “and many of these seniors had watched their brothers play here. They wanted the same thing. We got here, we won the first game. The second was like a triple bonus for us.”
The Blazers played the fast-to-the-ball Knights even in the first half. “They were so quick, so focused on reaching that ball first. We had a couple chances. Trent (Arens) especially had a shot in the first half that just missed. We had fewer shots in this game but they were all on goal. To hold a good team like Assumption scoreless in the half was a major accomplishment. People don’t really realize just how good all the teams at state are.
“In the second half, they scored their first goal after a couple of small mistakes by us. Five minutes later we did it again and then a 2-0 lead is too much with the type of defense they played.”
Arens hit three shots, Kramer and Grover one.
Laskowski summed it up. “For us as coaches to walk back on that state field, and they gave us the main field too, was almost overwhelming. We had the memories of the past years. Now these guys will have that too, something they can always treasure.
“We have a bunch of talent coming back, even though we will miss these seniors a whole lot at the beginning of the season. But we will make it our goal again next year, even with a young team, to get back to Des Moines. I know they are capable of that with a lot of hard work and dedication.”