116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Scoring isn’t their primary responsibility.
Ellie Koechner is a midfielder. Alyssa McAleer is a defender. Thursday night, both were front and center.
McAleer scored the first goal, Koechner tacked on a pair later, and fifth-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier dominated Clear Creek Amana, 5-0, in a Class 2A girls’ soccer regional final Thursday night at Saints Field.
“Goals aren’t my big thing,” said Koechner, who had two of them all season before adding two more Thursday. “I’m there for clean-up, or maybe getting a gritty goal every now and then.
“I’m there if I’m needed.”
Xavier (12-3) advances to its fifth consecutive state tournament and will play No. 4 Spencer (15-3) in a first-round game at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at Cownie Soccer Complex, Des Moines.
“We definitely have stuff that we can improve upon,” McAleer said. “As a team, we want to improve every day. If we do, this is definitely a team that can make things happen.”
Time of possession, field position ... all of it slanted Xavier’s way in the first half. The Saints enjoyed gigantic advantages in shots (20-2), shots on goal (13-2) and corners (8-0).
A stiff northerly wind was part of it. The Saints were the majority of it.
Xavier broke the ice at the 9:59 mark when McAleer struck from about 40 yards away.
“Honestly, I was shooting for the back post, trying to get the ball to a forward,” said McAleer, who had one goal this season before Thursday. “At first, I thought it was going over the goal.
“Getting that first goal, it takes a big weight off.”
The Saints tacked on goals from Koechner and Mary Clare Bean, less than two minutes apart, midway through the first half, and led 3-0 at intermission.
Koechner struck again, off a deflection, 2:38 into the second half. Brielle Bastian capped the scoring with her 37th tally of the season, with just under 20 minutes left.
Xavier finished with a 32-4 advantage in shots, 20-4 in shots on goal.
CCA retired at 10-8. The Clippers reached the regional-final round for the second straight season despite losing eight starters from last year’s team.
Cedar Rapids Xavier 5, Clear Creek Amana 0
CLASS 2A REGIONAL FINAL, AT C.R. XAVIER
Clear Creek Amana 0 0 — 0
Cedar Rapids Xavier 3 2 — 5
CRX — Alyssa McAleer (2), 9:59 (Maria Trotta assist).
CRX — Ellie Koechner (3), 24:12.
CRX — Mary Clare Bean (13), 26:20.
CRX — Koechner (4), 42:38.
CRX — Brielle Bastian (37), 60:35 (Maleigh Olmstead assist).