MUSCATINE – The Iowa City West girls soccer team was up to the test that West Des Moines Valley posed, but in the end, the Women of Troy just didn’t have enough answers.
The seventh-ranked Women of Troy gave the No. 3 Tigers a hard-fought battle beyond the 80 minutes of regulation, however, Valley’s season is the one being extended.
Haley Helverson’s second goal of the game found the back of the net six minutes into a sudden victory overtime to give Valley a 2-1 win in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Class 2A state soccer tournament Thursday at Muscatine Soccer Complex. Valley will play Johnston (15-5) in Friday’s semifinals.
See the game winning goal.
“Taking them into overtime was an incredible feat,” West Coach Dave Rosenthal said. “That’s a talented team. They’re young, explosive, athletic and they play really good soccer. I think we did well.”
Both teams engaged in a physical contest, similar to their first meeting this season that Valley also won. The Women of Troy didn’t mind mixing it up.
“Today was a very physical battle,” Rosenthal said. “It was really hard play out there. When you play a hard physical battle it’s almost a war of attrition.”
It seemed that West was winning the war. After a scoreless first half, Rachel Hegeman put West on the board, scoring a goal in the 47th minute. Hegeman took control of the ball in a huddle in front of the goal and punched it over Valley goalkeeper Andrea Swanson.
Hegeman recognized the opportunity and pounced.
“It was bobbled around in the middle for a bit,” Hegeman said. “They had possession of it but they weren’t really doing anything with it, so I just ran in because I thought if I could get anything on it it would go in
“Since we were up I thought we could hold on to it. We thought if we got 1-up then we could win. That’s why we were so excited.”
It didn’t take long for the excitement and momentum to be stolen away. Valley answered almost immediately. The Tigers marched down the field and earned a penalty kick near the top of the West goal box. Helverson capitalized on the chance with the penalty kick, scoring in the 48th minute.
“I just knew I had to put my foot over it and place it well,” Helverson said. “It ended up good.”
West relaxed slightly, allowing Valley to even the score, 1-1, with 32 minutes remaining.
“After we scored, we kind of sat back on our heels a little bit too soon,” West senior Morgan Gallagher said. “They just came back right away.”
West controlled the tempo in the second half, pressuring the Valley defense. Rosenthal said the halftime adjustments helped West play better after the first break. The Women of Troy succeed being aggressive, which is how they play best. they just weren’t able to punch in another goal.
“Our team thrives on pass and move,” Gallagher said. “Once we got a hold of that we were pretty much controlling the game, but they just slotted one in at the end.”
Helverson ended the game with a left-footed kick passed a diving Jayne Heinrich, who played well with 17 saves.
The loss was tough for West, which ended the season 15-5 and made its third straight state appearance and ninth overall.
“It’s hard to end this way. To end in the first round at state,” said Gallagher, who missed last year’s state runner-up performance after tearing all three ligaments in her right knee in the substate finals. “Ultimately, it’s this hard because we know that each and every one of us worked as hard as we possibly could.”
class 2A, Dave Rosenthal, goals, Haley Helverson, IGHSAU, Iowa City West, Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, Johnston, Morgan Gallagher, Muscatine, Muscatine Soccer Complex, Rachel Hegeman, scoring, Soccer, state tournament, Tigers, West Des Moines Valley, Women of Troy