CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Kennedy girls’ soccer coach Homer Screws and his team want to make the most of their remaining time together.
Screws, 51, plans to relocate to his native Washington at the end of the season. Until then, he and the Cougars are gearing up for another surge to the state tournament.
“I’ve been here 27 years, it’s time to,” Screws said after the 10th-ranked Cougars defeated Davenport North, 4-1, in a Class 3A regional semifinal Wednesday night at Kingston Stadium. “My wife is there shopping for a house now. … This could be my last coaching gig. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to go on.”
Screws — a former player in the Major Indoor Soccer League and ex-coach of both the men’s and women’s programs at Coe College — won a 2A state title with Kennedy in 2009. This year’s Cougars (12-3) are a win away from a fifth-consecutive state tournament berth and 12th in 13 years.
“I think we are peaking at the right time,” said senior Olivia Hellweg, who opened the scoring for Kennedy with a goal less than seven minutes into the game. “We had a steady (climb) and have just been ascending up ever since. I think it is a great time for us to do that.”
Hellweg also added two second-half assists and announced after the game that she has accepted a preferred walk-on offer to play soccer at the University of Iowa beginning this fall.
“They were talking to me about wanting to play and continue my career,” Hellweg said. “I just really like their style of play and their coaching staff.”
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After senior Morgan Pollmiller tied the game at 1-1 with a goal for Davenport North (10-9), the Cougars closed the game with goals by junior Grace Walker, freshman Aliyah Allers and senior Nikole Slinger.
Junior Emily Waterhouse also had an assist for Kennedy.
The Cougars will play Linn-Mar (13-5) in a regional final Monday at 6 at Kingston Stadium, with the winner advancing to the state tournament.
Kennedy defeated Linn-Mar on penalty kicks, 1-0, on April 24.
“Our team will be prepared for Monday,” senior Kenadee Dekko said. “We know it’s going to be a tough match going into it.”
CLASS 3A REGIONAL SEMIFINAL
At Kingston Stadium
No. 10 Cedar Rapids Kennedy 4, Davenport North 1
Goals — DN: Morgan Pollmiller 1 (7); CRK: Olivia Hellweg 1 (4), Grace Walker 1 (3), Aliyah Allers 1 (1), Nikole Slinger 1 (3). Assists — CRK: Olivia Hellweg 2 (2), Emily Waterhouse 1 (3).
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