A year ago, the Ankeny Centennial girls’ soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision to Valley early in the season.
The Jaguars later avenged the loss by defeating Valley in the Class 3A semifinals and went on to win the state title, their third in the last six seasons.
Now, Centennial coach Chris Allen is hoping that history repeats itself.
The third-ranked Jaguars suffered a 2-0 loss to No. 4 Valley on Friday at Centennial. The Tigers scored both of their goals in the first half.
“I think it’s just kind of been a tough week altogether, whether it be injuries or the matchups,” said Centennial coach Chris Allen, whose team was coming off a 3-2 loss to then-No. 7 Dowling Catholic in a shootout on Tuesday. “But the kids are pretty resilient. We were able to regroup after the game and just talk about the process of growing toward where we want to be at the end of the season. I think once we put together a full game against one of these really good sides, we’ll be in a good spot.”
Valley improved to 1-1 in the CIML Conference and 4-1 overall. The Tigers bounced back after suffering their first loss on Tuesday to Waukee Northwest, which replaced Centennial as the No. 1 team in the latest Class 3A rankings.
The Jaguars dropped to 1-2 in the league and 4-2 overall. They’ve lost two straight games for the first time since 2019, when they dropped back-to-back contests to Waukee and Dowling.
“We’re learning a lot about ourselves in these moments,” Allen said.
Centennial played without senior midfielder Averi Porter, who injured her right knee during the loss to Dowling. She is expected to be out of action for three to four weeks due to a bad sprain.
“That is probably the best-case scenario,” Allen said. “We don’t want to rush anything with her. She’s got a bright future ahead of her (playing basketball at William Jewell).”
Other players, including sophomore Addison Fair, will be asked to pick up the slack.
“Addison is seeing the field a little bit more, and that’s going to be good for her,” Allen said. “She’s a smart player and really combines well with Alanna (Pennington) at times.”
The Jaguars will play a non-conference game at Iowa City West (1-2) on Monday.