Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

No. 10 Tigers tame No. 1 Saints

For the third time this season Xavier found itself down in the second half, but this time the Saints weren’t able to take it into overtime as they fell to Cedar Falls 3-2 at Xavier on Monday.

Xavier is ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, Cedar Falls No. 10 in Class 3A.

The Saints (3-1-1, 1-1 MVC), who trailed 1-0 in the second half against Linn-Mar and 2-0 against Bettendorf, finally had a slow start catch up to them as the Tigers (5-0, 2-0 MVC) got a late goal with just 3:21 left to prevent overtime and escape with a win.

“Maybe it is a good lesson for us to not wait 60 minutes before we start playing,” Xavier Coach Amir Hadzic said.

After a scoreless first half, the Saints got the action going early in the second half when Daniel Cowden chipped a pass over the defense and right in front of Chad Gilmer who buried the ball in the back of the net.

It only took Cedar Falls three minutes to get the equalizer, on a corner kick that bounced around in the penalty box before Mohammad Shehata was able to boot it in.

“I think that tying goal was really big because it was a momentum shifter for them,” Hadzic said.


No. 7 Warriors whack No. 2 Wahlert

Monday was not a good day to be ranked among the top two teams in Class 2A boys soccer.

Class 3A No. 7 Washington scored three first-half goals and drubbled Class 2A No. 2 Dubuque Wahlert, 3-1, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at Kingston Stadium.

Xavier, the No. 1 Class 2A team, also was beaten Monday by Cedar Falls, 3-2.

Washington scored its first goal in the 17th minute on a penalty kick by Austin Bergstrom. The Warriors' Brandon Besong found the back of the net in the 34th minute and Max Versteegh's rebound goal one minute later pushed Washington's lead to 3-0.

Washington improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the MVC.


Saxen headed to Missouri Western

Alex Saxen's real first name is Alexandria, but most people just call her Alex.

"Pretty much," she said, "except when I'm trouble."

Saxen probably doesn't have much time for trouble, considering her busy schedule at Xavier High School. She's a three-sport athlete, belongs to numerous clubs at school and has maintained a healthy 3.5 grade point average.

Her next stop will be Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., where she plans to play basketball for the NCAA Division II school and possibly study pre-medicine.

"I'm real excited, but I'm kind of nervous, because I'm not going to know very many people there," she said. "I'm nervous, but I'm excited."

Saxen, who stands about 5-foot-10, averaged 10.1 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Saints last season. She could be a swing player at Missouri Western State for Coach Lynn Plett, who led the Griffons to a 14-13 record this year.


Wes Washpun picks Tennessee

Wes Washpun had two important phone calls to make Sunday afternoon, one of them easy and one of them hard.

The easy call went to Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin. The hard call went to Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery.

Washpun, the talented point guard from Cedar Rapids Washington, committed to Tennessee Sunday and needed to inform both coaches.

The call to Martin was easy. "He was really happy," Washpun said.

The call to McCaffery was hard. "It was definitely hard," Washpun said. "Not only have I grown up a Hawk fan, he's a good guy and I respect him as a man and what he's doing with the Iowa program."

Martin beat McCaffery to the punch. Martin offered Washpun a scholarship to join him at Missouri State and quickly extended the offer after he became the new head coach at Tennessee this spring.

"I had a relationship with Coach Martin since late November or early December, while Iowa has just come on late," Washpun said. "Him getting the job at Tennessee didn't slow down his recruiting of me at all. He called me the day after he got the job and told me he wanted me to be his guy down there."

McCaffery offered Washpun a scholarship early last week and met with Washpun for the first time on Thursday night.


Sweeney down but not out of A's plans

You may have noticed Metro Sports Report is carrying a daily update on its front page of the progress of Ryan Sweeney, the Oakland Athletics outfielder from Cedar Rapids.

Unfortunately in the early part of the baseball season, the updates have been nearly nil with only two pinch-hit appearances.

Sweeney, a regular the past three seasons in Oakland, didn’t get his first start of 2011 until Sunday at Minnesota. He was slotted in the No. 5 hole and played right field as Manager Bob Geren sat Coco Crisp.


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