CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Kennedy boys’ soccer team was searching for a springboard.
An uneven start to the season had the Cougars a bit unsure of themselves, but the winning formula may have just been unearthed.
Faced with an early deficit, Kennedy scored four unanswered goals by four different players and upset Class 3A No. 5 Cedar Rapids Washington, 4-1, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game Tuesday night at Kingston Stadium.
“You come in against a team like Washington that is traditionally a real power, you just hope to do well,” Kennedy Coach Adrian Evans said. “We were looking to kind of show what we can do.”
Kennedy (5-3, 5-3 MVC) had been ranked as high as 16th in the Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association poll on three separate occasions, but losses in every other game through the first six contests have the Cougars on the outside looking in at the rankings.
“Everyone is coming in every day to work hard,” Kennedy senior midfielder Alex Stone said. “We’re putting in the work, definitely. Everyone is super motivated to keep getting better.”
Washington (9-3, 6-2) was playing without 2017 first team all-state junior Keaton Woods (hip), whose return is unclear. The Warriors quickly jumped ahead with a goal by freshman Anders Bergstrom in the third minute off an assist from another first team all-state player, senior defender Andrew Hammer.
Stone — a first team all-MVC selection last season and Wartburg recruit — tied the game at 1-1 with an unassisted score in the 15th minute.
“We know we can come back, we proved it here,” Stone said. “We all worked together, we came together, encouraged each other and everyone pulled it through.”
The Cougars took the lead for good with a pair of scores 60 seconds apart. Sophomore defender Curtis Ratzer converted a penalty kick with 14:31 until halftime, followed by an insurance goal from sophomore reserve forward Kisibo Kasha off Stone’s team-high seventh assist for a 3-1 Kennedy advantage.
Senior forward Yusef Igram closed out the scoring for Kennedy with a strike off an assist from senior midfielder Kellen Hulet in the 57th minute.
Both teams are in action on Friday. Kennedy hosts 1A No. 12 Dubuque Wahlert, while Washington visits Waterloo West.
AT KINGSTON STADIUM
Cedar Rapids Kennedy 4, Class 3A No. 5 Cedar Rapids Washington 1
Goals — CRK: Alex Stone 1 (3), Curtis Ratzer 1 (3), Kisibo Kasha 1 (1), Yusef Igram 1 (3); CRW: Anders Bergstrom 1 (3). Assists — CRK: Kisibo Kasha 1 (1), Alex Stone 1 (7), Kellan Hulet 1 (1); CRW: Andrew Hammer 1 (6).
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