116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The question elicited a rapid response. What felt better, scoring five goals in an 8-2 win, or just playing in a soccer game with bearable, even downright nice weather?
“The fact that it wasn’t freezing, for sure,” Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Brielle Bastian said after Thursday night’s sunny win at Saints field. “I think this is the first game we’ve played without Under Armours on all year. Beautiful weather.”
The win over Cedar Rapids Prairie improved the 2A No. 4-ranked Saints to 4-2 despite a number of injuries. A couple more players limped off the field Thursday.
“We’re just starting to get people back healthy,” Xavier Coach Chris Higgins said. “It’s just, we haven’t really had a consistent 11. So hopefully in the next week or so we can start to recover and get bodies back for the postseason. We’ve got a great group of seniors.”
Bastian is one of those seniors. Her five goals Thursday upped her season total to 17 a year after netting 19. The first two against the Hawks (1-4) came within 20 seconds of each other in the 14th minute.
“Her mentality is phenomenal,” Higgins said. “The other day, for example, we played (Cedar Rapids) Washington, she had 18 shots (and three goals in an 8-0 win). She wasn’t having a great day, but she kept going and going. She didn’t pass off responsibility. That’s the best thing about her. She keeps wanting more and more and more. She’s got such a strong mentality.”
That seems to be a common trait among the Saints’ 12 seniors.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year so we all had to step up,” Bastian said.
The XI: What else stood out last week
1. Both Cedar Rapids Jefferson teams earned their first wins of the season Thursday in a doubleheader against crosstown rivals. The girls kicked things off with a 4-0 victory over Cedar Rapids Washington, then the boys followed with a 1-0 win over the Warriors.
2. Lwings Kabula and Carter Newhouse scored the first two goals on Iowa City Liberty this season and Cedar Rapids Kennedy (3-6) handed the then-No. 2 Lightning (8-1) their first loss in the process, 2-1, on Thursday. Liberty is now ranked No. 7 in Class 3A, still the highest-ranked Mississippi Valley Conference team.
3. Williamsburg (7-1) moved up four spots to No. 3 in this week’s Class 1A boys’ rankings and puts that ranking on the line Tuesday against Vinton-Shellsburg (5-2). The Raiders and Marion are the remaining two teams that haven’t lost to Wamac opponents (both 4-0).
4. Senior Ethan Karminski’s first career goal gave the Marion boys a 4-3 win in double overtime over 1A No. 2 Dyersville Beckman last Tuesday. The Wolves (6-1) also beat then-No. 8 (1A) Vinton-Shellsburg, 4-1, last week and moved up to No. 2 in this week’s Class 2A rankings.
5. The Mount Vernon boys ended Vinton-Shellsburg’s regular-season win streak at 19 overall (and five this season) with a 2-1 win last Tuesday. The Vikings were ranked No. 8 in Class 1A at the time.
6. 6-0 Spencer is the new No. 1 in the Class 2A boys’ rankings. Hudson (3-1) went from No. 1 to No. 16 after a 4-2 loss to Waterloo Columbus.
7. Humboldt is 7-0 and now No. 5 in the Class 2A boys’ rankings, with four of those wins coming in overtime. The latest was a 5-4 thriller over Storm Lake last Tuesday.
8. The Independence girls are 8-1 after picking up two wins over ranked teams in two days last week at home. The Mustangs beat 1A No. 12 Waterloo Columbus, 3-0, Friday night, then took down 2A No. 15 Clear Creek-Amana, 1-0, Saturday morning on the strength of freshman Mackenzie Wilson’s goal. Wilson is one of seven freshmen who have started all nine games and sophomore Easten Miller is tied for fourth in all classes with 22 goals.
9. Camille Landphair, tied for the overall state lead with 24 goals, scored four in 1A No. 5 Dike-New Hartford’s 9-0 win over then-No. 12 Union Community last Monday. The Wolverines are 8-0 and have outscored their opponents 58-1.
10. Iowa City Regina (3-2) cracked the Class 1A girls’ Top 10 at No. 10 after pulling away from a 1-1 halftime tie to beat Cedar Valley Christian,5-1, last Monday. Grace Gaarde and Madelyn Greve both scored two goals in the win.
11. The 11th-ranked Linn-Mar girls secured a marquee win Saturday at Bettendorf, 1-0 over No. 6 Pleasant Valley. The Lions have little time to celebrate, with three more games against ranked teams coming up this week: Monday vs. 1A No. 1 Davenport Assumption, Tuesday at No. 13 Iowa City High and Thursday vs. No. 12 Cedar Falls.