Saturday, February 16, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Late game flair sends Warriors to state soccer

The fifth-ranked Washington boys soccer team has had quite the flair for the dramatic in the substate tournament.

The Warriors took a scoreless tie into the final 10 minutes of regulation again in the Class 3A substate final, and again the Warriors used some late offense to get the win. Washington (16-3) advanced to the state tournament with a 2-0 victory over No. 13 Waterloo West (11-9) Saturday at Kingston Stadium.

“I think the kids wanted me to turn gray quick,” Washington Coach J.P. Graham joked after the game. “Waiting for the kids to score these last couple games is killing me.”

The Warriors finally gave their coach a reason to relax a little bit in the 73rd minute when the Waterloo West keeper fouled Kimu Kasha in the box and sophomore Austin Bergstrom took the penalty kick.

“We have had Austin take the last three or four and he has been solid every time,” Graham said. “He is left footed and that throws some keepers off, and he has probably got the best touch on the team. He is confident right now and you go with whoever feels good.”


Xavier sidelines Marion in substate final

Four different Saints scored goals and No. 1 Xavier downed Marion, 4-0, Saturday afternoon in a Class 2A boys soccer substate final at Xavier.

Defending state champion Xavier (14-2-1) advances to the state tournament as the top seed. The Saints will play eighth-seeded Clear Creek Amana (12-4) in Thursday's quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.

Chris Kapfer and Tim Bouchard scored goals about five minutes apart in the first half to stake Xavier to a 2-0 lead. Chad Gilmer and Michael Tessmer added goals in the second half.

The Saints played without senior Zach Smith, who is out for the season because of a knee injury. Smith led the Saints in scoring and assists during the regular season with 12 and 10, respectively. He was named the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division boys soccer athlete of the year earlier Saturday.

Marion closed out one of the most successful boys soccer seasons in school history at 13-3.



Christensen ties Kennedy HR record

Austin Christensen tied the Cedar Rapids Kennedy record for career home runs Saturday and pitched a 1-hitter as the top-ranked Cougars spanked Burlington, 15-0, in four innings at Kennedy Field.

Christensen smacked the 25th homer of his career with a three-shot in the first inning, matching the school mark set by Tony Booth from 1987-90.

Christensen already holds the Kennedy career records for doubles (43) and RBIs (132).

"That's pretty incredible. I'm really happy about it," Christensen said. "There have been so many incredible players come through this school throughout the years, and to just have my name even in the same sentence with them is really nice."

Christensen collected a two-run double in the second inning and finished 2-for-3 with five RBIs.

Christensen, now a senior, has been an all-state player since his freshman year at Kennedy. He owns three career school records and is pursuing several others.


Nate Woods helps Belmont win A-Sun title

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nate Woods went 2-for-5 Saturday and scored two runs as Belmont University edged Mercer, 9-7, in the championship game of the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament.

Woods is a senior from Cedar Rapids and a 2007 graduate of Xavier High School. He had an RBI single in the first inning Saturday as the Bruins grabbed a quick lead.

Belmont (36-24) won the A-Sun title for the first time in school history. The Bruins earned an automatic berth in the NCAA Division I regionals, the first berth in school history.

Belmont was the No.6 seed in the six-team tournament, but the Bruins went 4-0 in the tournament.


J-Hawks, Saints ranked in softball poll

Jefferson and Xavier are the only Metro schools present in the first softball poll released Friday by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

The J-Hawks, who were 34-7 last season, are ranked 11th and Xavier, 34-11 a year ago, is ranked 12th in Class 4A.

Des Moines East, runnersup to West Des Moines Valley a year ago, is ranked No. 1 in Class 4A. Valley is No. 5. Mississippi Valley Conference members Iowa City West and Waterloo West are ranked third and eighth, respectively.

Clear Creek Amana is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, Bondurant-Farrar No. 1 in 2A and Akron-Westfield No. 1 in 1A.



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