116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — As the lower-seeded team in a boys’ state soccer tournament game, Davenport Assumption would typically wear white uniforms.
But the sixth-seeded Knights were in red for a Class 1A state semifinal game Friday afternoon, No. 2-seed Dyersville Beckman in white.
In a way, the mix-up made sense. Assumption is the top-ranked team in the coaches rankings and showed why over 80 minutes at Cownie Soccer Park. The Knights controlled possession, produced most of the chances and advanced to Saturday’s title game with a 2-0 win over the Trailblazers.
“They were always tough, they were always playing well,” Beckman Coach Mirek Laskowski said. “Managing the field, managing ball possession, that’s what makes them good.”
Assumption (15-5) shot to the top of the coaches rankings — produced via an Elo ratings formula — in May, but the Iowa High School Athletic Association determines state tournament seeds via a simpler points system based on wins and the classification of opponents those wins came against. The Knights entered state with the second-worst record, but the field knew they were one of the top title threats with four of their five losses coming against Class 3A Mississippi Athletic Conference teams.
“They keep a lot of pressure on us,” Laskowski said. “Not too much time to control the ball and open up the field because we have to release the ball quickly and go to the next step. It’s difficult when you have two or three players on you right away, before you’ve even looked at the field. That’s tough.
“That’s something we have to change in our team and improve a lot. Now we’ve got time until next season.”
Beckman (16-4) kept the score zeroes entering the second half, but Assumption found the net twice in a five-minute flurry. Charlie Leinart slipped a ball to Billy Moore, who was able to sneak a close shot over the line in the 61st minute. In the 65th, Roberto Medrano won a 1-vs.-1 ball in the box and slotted an open shot inside the near post.
Beckman’s best opportunity was a 62nd-minute free kick that Assumption goalkeeper Alex Milton didn’t see at first, but still got to in plenty of time. Chances were otherwise few and far between for the Trailblazers.
“We just couldn’t find each other and were out of sorts, but we settled down a little bit,” Beckman senior midfielder Conner Grover said. “We knew we were gonna have to counterattack and find that transition and we just never really had it.”
Assumption, which opened its state tournament with a win over the coaches second-ranked team (North Fayette Valley) in the quarterfinals, will face top-seeded Western Christian (17-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Beckman graduates 12 seniors, including eight starters, from a team that got to state for the first time since 2017. This was the program’s sixth semifinal appearance in its seventh tourney, a run Laskowski called “a triple bonus.”
“All these guys, these seniors and juniors, we grew together,” Grover said. “It wasn’t always the best at times, but just being with these guys, bus rides back, all those things, it means a lot, for sure.”