ALBURNETT — Turns out, there was a little wizardry left in what has been a magical season for the Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett girls’ soccer team.
CVC/Alburnett senior Koki Tewodros capped a frenetic rally with a bicycle-kick goal with 11.2 seconds left as the Huskies won a thrilling Class 1A regional quarterfinal, 4-3, over Anamosa Tuesday night at Martin Sports Complex.
“I was just trying to get it in,” Tewodros said. “I thought it was going to go out. … I didn’t even know it was that late. I just thought I should take a shot. You never know.”
The goal was the second this season for Tewodros and it delivered victory for CVC/Alburnett (13-4), which trailed on two occasions over the final 20-plus minutes of the game.
“It’s all about their character,” CVC/Alburnett Coach Ron Slagle said. “We want to encourage them to do the things on the field that they need to do. Be in position to score. Character is always about trying hard and giving a good shot.”
After beginning the season with a school-record 11 wins in a row and being ranked for the first time in the four-year history of the program, CVC/Alburnett stumbled down the stretch of the regular season with four losses in five games.
Every attempt by Anamosa to end the Huskies’ season was thwarted by CVC/Alburnett junior Elizabeth Sperfslage, who scored three goals in a game for the first time in two years. Sperfslage broke a scoreless first-half tie with her second goal of the season, then tied the game on two occasions in the second half with scores in the 62nd minute and again with just 4:09 left in the game.
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“I just got three really good crosses from my teammates,” Sperfslage said. “I just think that we really wanted to win and we wanted to keep playing.”
During the game, Slagle moved Sperfslage from her customary outside midfielder role to an inside position when he recognized how well she was striking the ball. The hat trick was welcome redemption for Sperfslage, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee two years ago, then did the same to her right knee last year.
“The whole time I kept asking when I could get back,” Sperfslage said. “The hardest part was just sitting on the sidelines.”
Freshman Addy Rogers, senior Emma Snyder and sophomore Dakota Bierer each scored goals for Anamosa, which ends its season at 3-13. Bierer also had an assist for the Raiders.
Senior Emma Slagle assisted on each of the final two scores and now has a team-high 12 assists this season for the Huskies. Tewodros and fellow senior Elisabeth Fields also posted an assist for CVC/Alburnett, which hosts first-year program Iowa City Liberty (6-11) in a regional semifinal Friday at 6.
The teams split two meetings this season. CVC/Alburnett won at home on May 1, 3-0, while Liberty claimed the May 14 rematch in Coralville, 2-1.
“We just need to really stay focused and keep our goal in mind,” Sperfslage said.
CLASS 1A REGIONAL QUARTERFINAL
Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett 4, Anamosa 3
Goals — ANA: Addy Rogers 1 (2), Emma Snyder 1 (12), Dakota Bierer 1 (3); CVC: Elizabeth Sperfslage 3 (4), Koki Tewodros 1 (2). Assists — ANA: Dakota Bierer 1 (2); CVC: Elisabeth Fields 1 (1), Koki Tewodros 1 (1), Emma Slagle 2 (12).
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