What appeared to be a monumental task for the Ankeny Centennial girls’ soccer team resulted in a huge victory on Friday.
The third-ranked Jaguars took a long road trip to the Illinois border to face No. 4 Bettendorf, which had outscored its first five opponents by a 17-5 margin.
The Bulldogs were looking to avenge last year’s 2-1 loss in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A state tournament, but Friday’s game wasn’t even close.
Centennial got a pair of goals from Lizzy Johnson and rolled to a 4-0 triumph. The Jaguars improved to 2-1, while Bettendorf’s record dropped to 5-1.
“Our defense has been very formidable three games in,” said Centennial coach Chris Allen. “That can be attributed to the skill and leadership of Olivia Brown, Tori Ubben, and the Lopez twins along with the gritty work in 1v1s that Olivia Wee and Allie Wyckoff must do.”
Johnson led the way at the offensive end, while Kenzie Geiger and Lexie Gutknecht each added a goal for the Jaguars. Carlie Jensen, Marisa Smith and Wee each contributed an assist.
Gutknecht opened the scoring when she connected for her fifth goal of the season about 5 minutes into the contest. Johnson got her first goal of the night at the 27-minute mark, then Geiger later added another goal to make it 3-0 at the half.
“I thought we had really resilient performances from Kenzie, Paige (Frette) and Lizzy,” Allen said. “Geiger put it all on the line for a touch into the goal and just worked Bettendorf from the wing position. Lizzy scored a goal while cramping up (in the second half), and Paige worked to constantly be in the right place at the right time.
“All in all, it was a complete team effort,” he added.