CEDAR RAPIDS — Over the past two boys’ soccer seasons, only one team has solved the Prairie puzzle.
Sophomore forward Micah Frisbie scored with 5:04 left in the second overtime as Class 3A No. 8 Iowa City West defeated fourth-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie, 2-1, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game Monday night at John Wall Field.
“This group needed it, because they need to believe,” West Coach Brad Stiles said. “They need to believe in our tradition and they need to believe in the way we do things. For us to win here, at a place where losses don’t happen very often, that’s exactly what this group needed.”
West (8-3, 7-1 MVC) is the first team in two years to defeat Prairie during the regular season, including a conference streak that reached 20 games. After the Trojans dropped a 3-1 home contest to the Hawks last season, a large token of revenge was exacted in a 3A state quarterfinal. West ended a perfect 19-0 Prairie season with a 2-1 victory on its way to a state-best ninth state championship.
“Just being in the program the past two years, I’ve been able to tell that every time we’ve played them, it is a good, close game,” Frisbie said. “It’s been a good, hard-fought match. It’s always fun.”
Prairie (7-1, 7-1) broke a scoreless tie in the 30th minute when senior forward Matt Walter fielded an assist from senior defender Boston Riley for a score. It was the third goal of the season for Walter and fifth assist for Riley. Both are Wisconsin-Platteville signees.
It took just over a minute for West to respond. Speedy junior forward Gada Ambo scored his team-high eighth goal of the season when he made a move as if to strike from far away, then cut inside for an unassisted score past the off-balance Prairie goalkeeper.
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“My teammates have been helping me and they are finding me,” Ambo said. “It’s all about team. Luckily, I’m scoring. I’m happy.”
The game remained deadlocked at 1-1 through the entire second half and a first 10-minute overtime period. Ambo also had a hand in the game-winning goal with a quick assist to Frisbie midway through the second ovetime.
“I saw the ball come in to Gada, and I knew he would be able to flick it in with one touch,” said Frisbie, who ranks second on the team with seven goals. “I was just making the run and it came to me and I knew I had to put it in.”
Both teams lead their respective MVC divisions and will return to action this Friday. West visits winless Waterloo East, while Prairie hosts No. 13 Cedar Falls.
AT JOHN WALL FIELD
Class 3A No. 8 Iowa City West 2, No. 4 Cedar Rapids Prairie 1 (2OT)
Goals — ICW: Gada Ambo 1 (8), Micah Frisbie 1 (7); CRP: Matt Walter 1 (3). Assists — ICW: Gada Ambo 1 (2); CRP: Boston Riley 1 (5).
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