116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Mount Vernon knows where it wants to go in girls' soccer, and Cedar Rapids Xavier gave the Mustangs a good look at what an established, successful program looks like.
But in the short term, the 11-1 victory by the Saints in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal was a painful peek at how the other half lives.
'We haven't seen much success but we've made so much progress,' first-year Mustang Coach Katelyn Murray said. 'I believe we can turn it around in one or two years.'
Xavier (7-9) advances to play at No. 11 DeWitt Central on Tuesday. Mount Vernon concluded its season with a record of 5-11.
One thing the Mustangs could take from the Saints right away is the ability to make measurable strides during the course of the season. Xavier did not look anything like the team that stumbled out of the gates, losing eight of its first nine.
Senior midfielder Brylee Bastian played in only her fifth game after breaking two ribs in the season-opening jamboree. She was a big part of creating the Saints' dynamic attack.
'I kind of think of it like a family,' Bastian said. 'If you lose a family member, then the whole family is kind of out of whack. I don't think it was just me, but the flow of the team is just better.'
'We started off bad but through the rough season we've put things together,' Elena Minor said.
Communication is better, roles are better defined, trust has been established — it's the kind of progress a coach hopes will happen.
'We just had to find a way to connect,' Minor said. 'As the season went on, we got more confident.'
The Saints got goals from Addy Hoffman (3), Peyton Sadilek (2), Paige Diebold (2), Molly Kinney (2), Minor and Bastian.
The Mustang goal was scored by Hayley Corkin in the 57th minute.
The game ended via the mercy rule with 7:49 left.
'We have four seniors and most of our lineup is returning,' Murray said. 'I think next year can be really good for us especially if they start playing in the summer. Hopefully we can get more numbers. It will get better.'