By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – West High needed a win, any win.
The Trojans got an impressive one Thursday and it came with a milestone.
Brad Stiles earned career victory number 300 and West High snapped a two-match losing skid with a 10-0 win over Dubuque Hempstead (0-3) at Barker Field.
“We just needed a win,” Stiles said. “Straight up, we needed a win to stop the losing streak and get us going in the right way. It means a lot, it means a little bit more here at Barker that’s for sure.”
Alex Andersen scored four of his five goals in the second half as West High exploded for seven second-half goals in 21 minutes, ending the game with 19:45 to play.
Sam Choi added two goals and Nicholas Raley, Michael Schilling and Kyler Krupp each had one as West High improved to 4-2 on the season and 1-2 in Mississippi Valley Conference play.
However, this win was about Stiles who won his 300th match in his 17th season as a head coach, all at West High.
“It’s definitely something special to be part of it, being a part of the program for four years has been tremendous,” Andersen said. “Just to be around Stiles this much and learn from him and have him teach me and then to give back to him to get that 300th is incredible.”
Three straight wins to open the season pushed Stiles to 299 career wins.
Back-to-back MVC losses to Cedar Rapids Xavier last Thursday and Linn-Mar on Monday delayed the historic win for Stiles.
“I made a lot of phone calls last Tuesday when we played Xavier and even my family said I jinxed it,” Stiles said. “I should have just kept it to myself.”
It was a failure to finish that cost West High in its first back-to-back losses since April of 2015.
West High was held scoreless for the final 97 minutes of the double overtime loss to Cedar Rapids Xavier and shutout in a 2-0 loss to Linn-Mar.
West High started slow on Thursday before Raley put home an Adam Rose cross in the 22nd minute to snap a string of 199 scoreless minutes.
“Even tonight I think it took us 20 minutes and that was kind of frustrating,” West High senior Sam Choi said. “Once we got one in we started getting confidence and they started falling.”
The Raley goal ignited the Trojans.
Andersen scored a minute later to make it 2-0 and Schilling gave West High a 3-0 cushion with a goal in the 38th minute.
West High wasted no time putting the game away after halftime.
Andersen scored three goals in a span of less than four minutes to give West High a 6-0 lead.
“Personally and as a team I felt like we were in a drought there for a little bit,” Andersen said. “Once they started falling tonight it was just clicking and we just came together as a team.”
Choi fired in a shot from outside the box in the 55th minute to make it 7-0.
Following another Andersen goal in the 58th minute Choi added his second goal of the match in the 60th minute.
“We’ve definitely been struggling to find the net and just seeing the ball go in it just gives us confidence going forward,” Choi said. “That confidence is huge for us.”
Krupp ended the game with a blast from just inside the box in the 61st minute.
The offensive breakthrough was just what West High needed after a pressure packed week as Stiles approached the milestone win.
“It was good to get that off my back and these guys took it serious in the second half and that’s maybe how we should have started,” Stiles said. “We had a good week of training this week, Tuesday and Wednesday went very well for us and that just righted the ship for us.”