116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — The gold stars on Mirek Laskowski’s green polo are a reminder of the precedent Dyersville Beckman boys’ soccer players hope to match.
The senior class of 2022 watched Laskowski’s teams win state championships in 2015 and 2016, part of a six-year run of tourney appearances from 2012-17.
It took a little longer than they expected, but the 12 seniors on this year’s roster experienced some Cownie Soccer Park success of their own Wednesday afternoon. Ryan Burchard blasted in a go-ahead goal in the 69th minute and No. 2-seed Dyersville Beckman got past No. 7-seed West Central Valley, 2-1, in a Class 1A quarterfinal game.
“We couldn’t get in the box so we just had to keep shooting from outside,” Burchard said. “I shot it, felt really good off the rip and I scored. I was like, ‘wow.’
“It was nasty.”
Burchard is one of eight seniors in the starting lineup. They spent the offseason focused on a day like this after an upset loss as the state’s second-ranked team in a substate final last year.
“The last three years have been tough, obviously,” Burchard said. “Our grade growing up was supposed to be one of the best grades to go through Beckman. We couldn’t get there. This year, in the offseason we really worked hard in camps and stuff and it really paid off.”
An own goal with just 40 seconds left in the first half gave Beckman (16-3) a 1-0 lead at halftime. Kamron Kunkle tied it for WCV (16-2) with a shot off the post early in the second, but the Trailblazers kept 1A goals leader Mitchell Dickson (36) off the scoresheet.
Laskowski danced on the field afterward, soaking in the environment after his team ended what qualifies as a state tournament drought for the program.
“It’s a great year for us,” Laskowski said. “Five years missing the state tournament is not fun for anybody. We were so close in a few games. Being here today in the Cownie complex is an absolutely amazing feeling.”
Beckman will face No. 6-seed Davenport Assumption (14-5) in a semifinal game at 12:10 p.m. Friday.
The Knights, ranked first in the final coaches association rankings, rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to knock out third-seeded North Fayette Valley (16-2).
Owen Ekstrom tied it in the 52nd minute via a Billy Moore back-heel assist and Charlie Leinart scored the winner in the 64th.
Freshman Brody Schupbach made history for NFV with the program’s first state tournament goal in the 23rd minute. Some TigerHawks lay sprawled on the field after the final whistle, then hugged and encouraged each other after the program’s third season ended with a second consecutive state tournament appearance.