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The Gazette KCRG
Posted June 9, 2011
OT thrillers: West wins, Kennedy, Wash lose

Iowa City West's Eleni Katz (6) and Nicole Rondeau (7) celebrate Rondeau's overtime goal to beat Johnston with the rest of their team following their class 3A quarterfinal game in the 2011 Iowa Girls State Soccer Tournament Thursday, June 9, 2011 at the Muscatine Soccer Complex in Muscatine. (Brian Ray/ SourceMedia Group News)

MUSCATINE – As they were changing shoes and shirts behind their team bench, Iowa City West’s  Erin Manfull turned to teammate Nicole Rondeau with a question.

“Nicole, how did you do that?” Manfull wanted to know.

Rondeau didn’t respond, perhaps because she didn’t know how she did that. Her one-timer shot, if you will, from the edge of the box with 2:55 left in the first overtime gave West a 1-0 win over Johnston in a Class 3A state soccer tournament quarterfinal Thursday night.

They call it sudden-death OT for reasons just like this.

“It was an absolutely amazing strike,” said West Coach David Rosenthal. ”A tough angle. But Nicole is a gamer, and she lives for moments like this. This is her senior year, this is the last weekend she is going to be able to step on this field. I think she made the moment hers.”

Rondeau actually began the winning play with a cross in front that a Johnston defender headed out of danger but right back out to her. The Northern Iowa signee slid as she kicked as she met the rebound, producing a hard ground shot that beat goalkeeper Rachel Janousek.

“I just wanted to get the game over,” Rondeau said. “There was obviously a lot of play, and I was pretty tired. I just wanted to get over the ball because I didn’t want to strike it over (the goal). I hit it as hard as I could on the ground, and I hit it at the right angle, I guess, and it went right past the keeper.”

The goal came against the flow of play, as Johnston (16-4) had constant pressure in the 10-minute overtime, including a bullet shot straight on from Nicole Pirie that had West goalkeeper Jayne Heinrich beat but hit the crossbar.

“I thought it was over,” Rondeau said. ”I went down, hit the ground because I thought it was going to be over. But it hit the post, and we’re back in it. Just stick your head up and keep playing.”

That’s what she did, sending West to a 6 p.m. Friday semifinal against Bettendorf (15-5).

“We were under the gun,” Rosenthal said. ”They hit the post, they were pressuring and pressuring and pressuing. You could tell we were wilting. I think we just found a little extra something at the right moment and capitalized on the opportunity.”

While extra time was kind to West, it was not to Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Cedar Rapids Washington.

Hannah Turner scored after a throw-in with 1:18 left to give West Des Moines Valley a 2-1 overtime win over Kennedy. The Cougars (16-4) won the regular-season meeting between the two and looked in command after Hannah Palomo scored with just 15 seconds left in the first half.

Kennedy's Katie Helmlinger (12) goes up for a header against West Des Moines Valley's Mary Hoffman (8) during their class 3A quarterfinal game in the 2011 Iowa Girls State Soccer Tournament Thursday, June 9, 2011 at the Muscatine Soccer Complex in Muscatine. (Brian Ray/ SourceMedia Group News)

But Lauren Waggoner’s goal 2:10 into the second half tied it for Valley (15-4).

“Disappointing,” said Kennedy Coach Homer Screws. “Always tough to come this far and come up just a little bit short. We knew coming in this was a 50-50 game, and it would come down to who executed. They executed one more play.”

Washington (16-4) nearly pulled off a huge upset of Ankeny, taking the top-ranked Hawkettes to penalty kicks before losing, 1-0. Ankeny (19-1) won the PK shootout, 4-2, converting all four of its tries against Wash goalkeeper Sophia Malcolm.

Cedar Rapids Washington goal keeper Sophia Malcolm is consoled by her teammates after their loss to Ankeny in a shootout at the end of their class 3A quarterfinal game at the 2011 Iowa Girls State Soccer Tournament Thursday, June 9, 2011 at the Muscatine Soccer Complex in Muscatine. (Brian Ray/ SourceMedia Group News)

Only Bailey Lane and Maddi Hines scored for Washington, whose first two shooters were denied by Ankeny goalkeeper Nikkie Inskeep. Nevertheless, it was a great season for a Wash club that set a school record for wins and made it to state for the first time.

“They played our gameplan to a tee,” said Washington Coach Sean McCoy, who is leaving his position to coach club soccer in Omaha, Neb. “That’s why I love these guys. When they buy into a gameplan, we can play with anybody. You look on paper and you’ve got five or six Division I (college) players over there, and we’ve got one girl playing soccer at the next level next year, and that’s it.”

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