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Iowa high school boys’ state soccer breakdown: What to know about the 2022 qualifiers
A look at the teams and top goal scorers in all 3 classes
Let’s take a class-by-class look at the Iowa high school boys’ state soccer tournament field. The tourney kicks off with the quarterfinals on Wednesday at Cownie Soccer Park in Des Moines, followed by the semifinals Friday and the finals Saturday.
» Brackets: 2022 boys’ state soccer pairings, seeds and schedules
Class 3A boys’ state soccer breakdown
No. 1 seed: Ankeny is 19-1, its only loss coming in double-overtime to Johnston. The Hawks’ reward? A first-round matchup with Waukee Northwest, which is ranked third and would be 15-3, but got the 8-seed with an 8-10 record after seven of its wins were flipped to forfeits due to reportedly using an ineligible player. The regular-season meeting was a 2-1 Ankeny win in overtime on May 10.
Top-ranked team: It’s Ankeny. But Johnston had the No. 1 spot in the penultimate Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association rankings of the regular season after its win over Ankeny on May 6. The Dragons (18-1) are ranked and seeded second and have lost only to Des Moines Hoover in penalties. They are the most-recent giant Cedar Rapids Prairie (16-3) will try to slay; the Hawks are seeking their first tournament win in their fifth appearance.
Reigning champion: Last year, Pleasant Valley won three straight 1-0 games as the No. 5 seed to capture its first state championship. With eight starters back this year, the Spartans (16-1) enter with a better record but perhaps the same underdog mentality. They’re the sixth seed, ranked fourth and face nine-time state champion Iowa City West in the quarterfinals, a rematch of last year’s title game.
The rest of the field: Ankeny Centennial (15-3) would surely love a rematch with its crosstown rival in the semifinals after an overtime defeat in the regular season. It’ll have to get past Urbandale (16-3) first.
Top goal scorers:
1. Lucas Newhard, sr., Ankeny (36)
2. Michael Nelson, jr., Iowa City West (30)
3. Wilmont Manneh, sr., Johnston (23)
4. Rashidi Ishibwami, jr., Ankeny Centennial (22)
5. Hayden Marks, sr., Urbandale (21)
Class 2A boys’ state soccer breakdown
No. 1 seed: Eighth in the final coaches rankings, Pella (17-2) got the top seed with a strong record in the Little Hawkeye Conference. The Dutch finished third, but beat co-champion Norwalk (a 3A team). Newton upset the other co-champion, Dallas Center-Grimes, in double overtime to get here and the No. 7-seed Cardinals (13-6) also own a regular-season win over Pella.
Top-ranked team: At 17-0, Humboldt is the last remaining unbeaten in the state. But the Wildcats have something to prove, entering their first state tournament as the sixth seed and perhaps a bit of a mystery to much of the state. Their first game is against Lewis Central (15-3), the 2019 state champion.
Reigning champion: Class 2A is guaranteed to crown a new champion. Cedar Rapids Xavier claimed its eighth state title last year, but was knocked out by Gilbert (16-2) in a substate final penalty shootout. The Tigers now take on another Metro opponent, Marion (16-1), which beat Xavier 1-0 back in early April. Last year’s runner-up is back. Bondurant-Farrar (17-2) is seeded second after going undefeated in the Raccoon River Conference (Gilbert was the RRC runner-up).
The field: The eighth seed, Spencer (13-4) recorded the most-lopsided win in the substate finals with a 4-0 victory over No. 12-ranked Sioux City Heelan.
Top goal scorers:
1. Jackson Kirsch, jr., Marion (55)
2. Caleb Gymer, sr., Bondurant-Farrar (29)
3. Christian Ramirez, soph., Humboldt (24)
4. Owen Olson, jr., Spencer (23)
5. Titus Cram, soph., Bondurant-Farrar (21)
Class 1A boys’ state soccer breakdown
No. 1 seed: Western Christian (15-1) was back at state for the first time since 2009 last year and went all the way to the title game. Now, the Wolfpack would like to complete the journey and win their first championship since taking the now-defunct fall crown in 1996. It’ll have to start with a bit of revenge in the first round (see below).
Top-ranked team: Four of Davenport Assumption’s five losses came in Mississippi Athletic Conference play, where it tied for fourth in the mostly-3A league. The Knights (13-5) are the No. 6-seed here and stand in the way of North Fayette Valley (16-1) winning a state tournament game for the first time in just its third overall season.
Reigning champion: Burlington Notre Dame was a buzzsaw last year, going 23-1 and outscoring opponents 147-16, including 16-4 at state, on its way to its first state title. The Nikes (17-3) are back, but with the No. 8 seed and a quarterfinal game against Western Christian that serves as a rematch of last year’s final. Notre Dame was fifth in the final coaches rankings and its only loss against a 1A team this year is a 5-0 defeat to Assumption — a team it beat in penalties earlier in April — in the Catholic Schools Invitational final.
The field: There are plenty more familiar faces here. West Liberty (13-3) is at Cownie for the third-straight season, seeking its third-straight semifinal appearance with a win over Nevada (15-6), an 11-time qualifier that owns two tourney victories over the Comets in the early 2010s. After a three-season state hiatus, Dyersville Beckman (15-3) returns for the eighth time with recent titles in 2015 and 2016 to the program’s name. West Central Valley (16-1) is the Trailblazers’ first-round opponent, a four-time qualifier that was most recently at state in 2014 and is seeking its first tournament goal with 1A’s leading scorer.
Top goal scorers:
1. Mitchell Dickson, sr., West Central Valley (36)
2. Drew Robinson, jr., Nevada (35)
3. Gabe Zurita, jr., Burlington Notre Dame (33)
4. Cole Ward, sr., Burlington Notre Dame (31)
5. Kaleb White, jr., North Fayette Valley (29)