116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES - Down 3-1 with a little over 20 minutes left in the Class 2A girls' state soccer semifinals between Union and North Scott, the Knights' season looked over.
The Lancers' Savannah Bogner had just scored off an assist from senior midfielder Karli Rucker. Knights keeper Jasmyn Bush had been tremendous throughout the game, but she let this shot slip by her.
Then, something incredible happened. Union's Emma Rottinghaus and state goals leader Courtney Powell (who now has 80) took over the game. Powell scored her first goal of the game with 11:05 left and it gave the team a much-needed boost of confidence.
All of a sudden it was 3-2. Then Rottinghaus' corner kick went over the goalkeeper and approached the goal line as Powell got a touch on it to tie the game.
Less than a minute later, Powell sent a final strike in. North Scott had no answer in the final minute. The game ended 4-3 in Union's favor and the Knights are headed to the state title game, seeking their first championship.
'It was pure heart, that's what Union does,” head coach Hunter Zempel said. 'We battled to the end. We talk about it, soccer is 80 minutes and you battle to the last second.”
North Scott dominated for long stretches of the game, giving the Knights little to work with in those moments. The first half, especially, was rough for Union. The Lancers had a 12-1 shots advantage and were getting just about anything they wanted.
Bush was making saves all over the place - she finished with 12 for the game - and anchored the Knights defense.
It was enough of an effort and the Knights offense was finally able to break free of the tough North Scott defense to make a few plays toward the end of the game.
'I was a little worried, but it was my role as a leader to get my team pumped up,” Powell said. 'Then we got one and another and then we won the game.”
Can't put it any better than that.
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