CEDAR RAPIDS — Naomi Meurice has twice been named Goalkeeper of the Year in the Mississippi Valley Conference.
Judging by the performance Thursday night, the Iowa City High senior seems destined for a third honor.
“Everything is just piecing together,” Meurice said after the Little Hawks edged Class 3A No. 10 Cedar Rapids Prairie, 2-1, in a girls’ soccer match at John Wall Field. “We are starting to get our flow of things. … Everything is just clicking, particularly in this game.”
The match needed penalty kicks to decide the outcome. Meurice saved three of the six Prairie attempts, including an acrobatic dive for a deflection. Her third penalty-kick save set up teammate Madeline Pugh for the clinching goal and a 4-3 shootout win.
“It is kind of hard to read,” Meurice said. “You guess and go. Fifty-fifty chance.”
The victory was the fifth in a row for City High (5-2, 1-0 MVC), which includes three Meurice shutouts. In the fall, she is bound for Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., to play soccer.
“She is a special person,” first-year City High Coach Phillip Hansen said. “She is special on the field. She is special off the field. What she does for this team, not just in goal, not just during a PK shootout, is absolutely amazing. Her leadership, her dedication to win, she is always the first one there, the last one to leave. It is beyond the field with her.”
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Just 40 seconds after Prairie junior Emily Brunscheen hit the crossbar with a header, City High freshman Mia DePrenger gathered the rebound from her own blocked shot and scored her second goal of the season with 2:36 left in the first half.
UNI signee Sophia Meier tied the match at 1-1 with a penalty kick in the 45th minute for Cedar Rapids Prairie (6-2, 1-1). She is tied for the team lead with five goals this season.
Both Prairie losses were after shootouts.
City High will host Western Dubuque on Tuesday, while Prairie visits Waterloo East.
AT JOHN WALL FIELD
Iowa City High 2, Class 3A No. 10 Cedar Rapids Prairie 1
(City High won on penalty kicks, 4-3)
Goals — ICH: Mia DePrenger (2); CRP: Sophia Meier (5).
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