116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
After spring sports were canceled in 2020, it's tough to get a complete read on which Iowa high school girls' soccer teams will contend this spring. But here are some Gazette area individuals and teams to keep an eye on in 2021.
Teams to watch
Cedar Rapids Xavier — The reigning Class 2A champions lost out on first-team all-stater Caitlynn Daniels' senior year, but the Saints have multiple familiar faces returning in 2021. That includes goalkeeper Maggie Conrad and forward Brielle Bastian, who both received honorable mention all-state in 2019. Four other seniors were named to an all-metro team as sophomores. Xavier won its 10th state title two years ago, tied with Davenport Assumption for most ever, and this team is capable of making it 11.
Clear Creek Amana — First-team all-state picks Ellen Austin and Lauren Riggle return to lead a team that was 13-5 two years ago and lost by a goal in the Class 2A regional semifinals. The Clippers also lost four Wamac games by one goal that year and will look to get to the next level after winning six of their last seven.
Linn-Mar — This is one of the programs that most deserves to ask 'what could have been?' The Lions were set to bring back nine starters from 2019's 18-2, state tournament team. But the season was canceled and Linn-Mar missed out on one more year from a 2020 senior class that included Creighton signee Abigail Santana. In 2021, though, there are still three all-conference players back from that 2019 team who should help Linn-Mar remain a Mississippi Valley Conference stalwart.
Marion — Marion came up a win shy of its first ever state tournament appearance in both 2018 and 2019. The Indians would have had a shot at Des Moines again in 2020 after going a combined 27-4 the previous two seasons and that should once again be the goal this spring. Two All-Wamac players are back, as well as two others who received honorable mention.
Mid-Prairie — The top three scorers on a Mid-Prairie team that went 10-4 in 2019 were all freshmen — Julia Boller, Esther Hughes and Kaitlin Martin. That means the Golden Hawks are not only a team to watch this year, but next year as well. In all, seven starters are back from the team two years ago. The only question is if the year off will set back this young team's development.
Mount Vernon — First-year coach Jenna Hindman inherits a team that went 13-5 in 2019 and should be talented enough to be one of the Wamac's top teams again. The Mustangs have never been to state but advanced to the regional finals in 2019, before running into powerhouse Waverly-Shell Rock in a 10-0 defeat. A year off hurts but getting closer to state contenders will be this program's aim.
Players to watch
Kennedy Arens, sr., Dyersville Beckman — First team All-Wamac midfielder had four goals and four assists in 2019.
Ellen Austin, sr., Clear Creek Amana — Class 2A first team all-state midfielder led the team with 17 assists in 2019. Also scored 10 goals and was named first team All-Wamac.
Brielle Bastian, jr., Cedar Rapids Xavier — Second on the 2019 Class 2A state championship team with 14 goals as a freshman. First team All-MVC and honorable mention all-state.
Maia Bentley, jr., Mount Vernon — Class 2A first-team all-stater totaled 30 goals and 17 assists as a freshman for a 13-5 team two years ago, even though she was listed as a midfielder. Also named first team All-Wamac.
Julia Boller, jr., Mid-Prairie — Forward led a 10-4 team with 19 goals and 10 assists as a freshman in 2019.
Emma Casebolt, sr., Linn-Mar — First team All-MVC and second team all-metro defender in 2019. Committed to Loras College.
Grace Coates, sr., Marion — Forward led a 13-3 team with 26 goals and 14 assists as a sophomore in 2019. Named first team all-metro and honorable mention Class 2A all-state. Committed to Central College.
Maggie Conrad, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier — Tennessee Tech goalkeeper commit made 167 saves, stopping 88.4 percent of opponents' shots for the 2019 Class 2A state champions. Second team all-metro and honorable mention all-state.
Delaney Holtey, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy — Iowa signee led an 11-3 team as a freshman in 2018 with 11 goals.
Nicole Lutz, sr., Center Point-Urbana — Central College commit scored 11 goals in 2019, second on a team that went 17-3 and advanced to the Class 1A state tournament. Also had five assists and was named second team All-Wamac.
Callie Menzel, sr., Iowa City High — First team All-MVC defender in 2019 signed to play at the NCAA Division II level for Winona State.
Hallie Peak, sr., Linn-Mar — Drake commit tied for second on an 18-2, state-qualifying team in 2019 with 13 goals. Forward also had 11 assists and was first team all-metro and first team All-MVC.
Lauren Riggle, sr., Clear Creek Amana — Class 2A first team all-state forward led the team with 19 goals in 2019. Loras College commit also had 14 assists and was named first team All-Wamac.
Amanda Ross, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier — Second team all-metro and second team All-MVC with seven assists in 2019.
Kenadee Showalter, jr., Iowa City West — Tied for the team lead with eight goals as a freshman as the Trojans went from 1-16 the previous year to 9-10 in 2019. First team All-MVC.
Karly Weiss, jr., Cedar Rapids Xavier — First team all-metro in 2019 with three assists and one goal.
Samantha Yexley, sr., Independence — First team All-Wamac midfielder in 2019. Wisconsin-Platteville commit.
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