Prep Soccer

Sydney DePrenger, Iowa City High girls' soccer open regional play with shutout of rival West

15th-ranked Little Hawks shut out West, 3-0, in 3A regional quarterfinal

Iowa City High’s Sydney DePrenger (9) eyes the ball during a girls’ high school soccer match earlier this season. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa City High’s Sydney DePrenger (9) eyes the ball during a girls’ high school soccer match earlier this season. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The Iowa City High girls’ soccer team knew what it was up against in its postseason opener.

Despite winning one game this season, crosstown rival Iowa City West presented a challenge born of familiarity with a nothing-to-lose mentality.

“We knew they were going to come out strong,” City High senior Sydney DePrenger said after the 15th-ranked Little Hawks shut out Iowa City West, 3-0, in a Class 3A regional quarterfinal Saturday at the University of Iowa Soccer Complex. “We just said, ‘Play our game’ and keep passing the ball around and if we just keep playing the game like we play the game, it’s going to be fine. It’s just another game.”

DePrenger jumped on West early with her team-high eighth goal of the season in the eighth minute.

“I think it bounced off my head and their goalie had a little bobble in the box,” DePrenger said. “It kind of bobbled around in the box and I just saw it and I just said, ‘Bop!” I just shot it because I knew the goalie was out on the ground. If you hit it up in the air, it’s going to go in.”

DePrenger will play Division-II soccer in the fall at Minnesota State-Mankato. Her eight goals this season ties a career high that she set as a freshman. Now a senior, she has grown into a leadership role and represents the Little Hawks as a team captain of both the girls’ soccer and girls’ track and field teams.

“She has physical tools as far as speed that we’re lucky to have and I think that’s what separates her,” City High Coach Michael Prunty said. “We’ve continued to work on how she can be most dangerous with those tools. … If we look at where she is at from a freshman to now her senior year, she’s just more consistent with her tools that she has to be dangerous. We are able to now produce those moments more often versus when she was younger, it was hit or miss.”

Two City High underclassmen provided the insurance goals. Sophomore defender Emma Seydel scored her third goal of the season off the bench in the 25th minute, while freshman forward Lizzie Peters added her second goal this year with 10:13 left in the game.

“We were happy we got the goals at the right time early in the half and early in the game so that kind of let us rest on a warmer day,” Prunty said. “We took care of what we needed to today, so we’re happy.”

City High (10-6) will play No. 13 Cedar Rapids Washington (10-4) in a regional semifinal Wednesday at 5 at Kingston Stadium. The Warriors have won 10 of 11 games since losing to City High, 1-0, on April 17.

“After the game, I told them, ‘You guys are going to have a good season,’” Prunty said. “Just from how they were playing and they continued to have a good season which is why we had to play this game to go play them. It will be tough. They’re playing well, they defend well, so we have our work cut out for us.”

West ends its season at 1-16, the first year since 2007 it will not reach the girls’ soccer state tournament.

Girls’ soccer

CLASS 3A REGIONAL QUARTERFINAL

At University of Iowa Soccer Complex

No. 15 Iowa City High 3, Iowa City West 0

Goals — Sydney DePrenger 1 (8), Emma Seydel 1 (3), Lizzie Peters 1 (2).

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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