CEDAR RAPIDS — There would be no substate semifinal slumber this year.
In each of the past two seasons, Cedar Rapids Washington possessed a boys’ soccer team capable of playing for a state title, yet was eliminated in a substate semifinal both years.
“One thing that we have been talking about is these past two years,” Cedar Rapids Washington senior goalkeeper Erik Lenzen said after the Class 3A No. 11 Warriors routed Davenport North, 10-0, in a substate semifinal Wednesday at Coe College’s Clark Field. “It was just gut-wrenching. We have gone to that (post-match) corner two years in a row just bawling our eyes out. This year, to get a 10-0 win and really prove to people that we are legit, it is awesome.”
Lenzen helped Washington (12-5) post its seventh win in a row, the last six without surrendering a goal behind the defensive back line of Joseph Jonasson, Grant Knutson, Mohammed Mwalimu and Rami Scheetz. Lenzen split time in goal with sophomore Will Bickel at times this season, but has gone the distance in each of the last two matches as Bickel nurses an injury.
“As long as it doesn’t hit the back of my net and my defenders do their jobs, I am happy,” Lenzen said. “If I don’t touch the ball, I am a happy guy.”
Washington senior midfielder Brooks Papendick got the scoring started in the sixth minute and finished the match with three goals, his second hat trick in a season in which he leads the Warriors with 17 scores. Midfielder/forward Keaton Woods — twice selected as a first team all-state selection in 3A — added a season-high four goals and now has 14 in his last seven matches.
A goal by junior midfielder Merci Ngiriweneza and a penalty-kick conversion by Knutson helped Washington scored nine goals in the first 55 minutes of the match. Sophomore reserve midfielder Gedeon Katende triggered the 10-goal mercy rule with more than 10 minutes left on the clock with his first goal of the season.
“I’m happy,” Washington Coach J.P. Graham said. “I wasn’t necessarily going for a 10-0 win, but I just wanted us to be at a peak performance going into Saturday. That was my goal.”
Davenport North ends its season at 13-7.
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Washington will now face No. 7 Iowa City High (12-3), which routed Muscatine in its substate semifinal. The Warriors blanked the Little Hawks, 2-0, May 14 on their way to a share of the Mississippi Valley Conference division title. This matchup will be Saturday at noon at the University of Iowa Soccer Complex. Win there, and Washington will reach the state tournament for the first time in three years.
“We are extraordinarily confident,” Lenzen said. “We just have to go in with the same mentality and just keep pounding.”
CLASS 3A SUBSTATE SEMIFINAL
At Clark Field
No. 11 Cedar Rapids Washington 10, Davenport North 0
Goals — Keaton Woods 4 (14), Brooks Papendick 3 (17), Merci Ngiriweneza (2), Grant Knutson (1), Gideon Katende (1).
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