CEDAR RAPIDS — Camryn Ray picked a good day for a breakout performance.
With her team down two players, the Cedar Rapids Kennedy sophomore forward scored the first two goals of her varsity career as the 3A ninth-ranked Cougars defeated Cedar Rapids Washington, 3-1, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ soccer game Tuesday night at Kingston Stadium.
“I was kind of disappointed the first couple of games that I hadn’t gotten a shot off,” Ray said. “It felt really good to finally get that first goal.”
After getting Kennedy (4-1, 4-1 MVC) on the scoreboard less than two minutes into the game, the normally-stoic Ray could not resist a smile as her teammates surrounded her in celebration. It was the culmination of a long road back from a right-knee ACL and meniscus injury that cost her the 2017 soccer season.
“At the beginning, it was really hard,” Ray said of returning to soccer. “Definitely my fitness, I need to work on that. Once I got into it, all I needed to work on was more technique, because I forgot about it. It showed in the first couple of games, but even my coach told me it is showing that I am getting back into it and I’ve gotten a lot better.”
The victory was the fourth in a row for Kennedy, which was without sophomore forward Amurie Coder (nine goals, five assists in 22 games over the past two seasons) and 2017 first team all-MVC midfielder Olivia Hellweg due to injury. Coder will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining an ACL tear April 24 against Linn-Mar, while Hellweg is expected back in a couple of weeks.
“With those two players out, there’s some chemistry issues,” Kennedy Coach Homer Screws said. “I thought Jen Schmidt replacing Hellweg, I thought she was fantastic. She created opportunities.”
Freshman Delaney Holtey started at forward in place of Coder and scored her first varsity goal with 9:51 left in the first half that gave the Cougars a 2-0 lead.
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Ray tacked on an insurance goal in the 51st minute, while Schmidt, junior midfielder Grace Duffy and sophomore midfielder Sadie Powell each posted an assist.
Junior forward Julie Holt helped Washington (4-4, 3-4) avoid a shutout with a goal in the 74th minute, her team-high fifth score this season.
The Cougars visit Dubuque Wahlert on Friday, while Washington hosts Cedar Falls on Monday.
AT KINGSTON STADIUM
Class 3A No. 9 Cedar Rapids Kennedy 3, Cedar Rapids Washington 0
Goals — CRK: Camryn Ray 2 (2), Delaney Holtey 1 (1); CRW: Julie Holt 1 (5). Assists — CRK: Jen Schmidt 1 (3), Grace Walker 1 (1), Sadie Powell 1 (1).
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