CEDAR RAPIDS — For a team making its first appearance at the boys’ soccer state tournament in three years, Cedar Rapids Washington looked like veterans.
Three different Warriors scored goals in a 3-0 shutout victory over No. 5-ranked Marshalltown in a Class 3A state quarterfinal Friday at Cownie Soccer Park.
“I thought the first five or 10 minutes we were a little sloppy,” Washington Coach J.P. Graham said. “I think it was just kind of getting used to it. The grass was a little thicker than we were used to and we just weren’t putting enough pace on the ball. Once we figured it out, we got a little better.”
Washington senior defender Rami Scheetz – just six days removed from winning a singles state championship in tennis – scored the first goal of the game in the 15th minute off a cross from fellow senior Keaton Woods.
“Great cross from Keaton, as per usual,” Scheetz said. “At a state tournament game, I am always thinking you have to put everything you can on it. Ran at it as fast as I could and luckily something good happened.”
Junior midfielder Merci Ngiriweneza and sophomore forward Gasongo Nsengiyumva also scored goals for the Warriors (14-5), winners of nine matches in a row.
The shutout was the first against Marshalltown (16-3) since its April 8 season opener at Urbandale, another 3A state qualifier.
“We didn’t really know what they had coming for us,” Washington senior defender Grant Knutson said. “We knew their No. 7 (junior Jose Torres) was really good. He was a left-footed player, so we made sure we forced him to his right foot while forcing everyone else to their left foot just to play the players to our advantage.”
No. 11 Washington will play second-ranked Iowa City West (17-1) — winner of 17 matches in a row — in a state semifinal Saturday. West defeated Washington, 4-0, at home April 16 while Woods was recovering from a knee injury. Woods has scored 19 goals in the nine matches since his return.
“Obviously they are a really good team,” Scheetz said. “Always have been in the past. That intensity, that fire that we have been having last 10 games that we have had, we just need to keep that up and just keep on rolling throughout the state championship. That is our goal.”
CLASS 3A STATE QUARTERFINAL
At Des Moines
No. 6 Cedar Rapids Washington 3, No. 3 Marshalltown 0
Goals — Rami Scheetz (5), Merci Ngiriweneza (3), Gasongo Nsengiyumva (3).
l Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org