By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
When it comes to getting your money’s worth out of an entertainment option Friday’s cross-town soccer double header between City High and West High is tough to beat.
In terms of prep soccer it doesn’t get much better than the Class 3A top-10 boys/girls twin bill at the University of Iowa soccer complex.
The girls matchup between third-ranked West High (6-0) and No. 8 City High (4-2) kicks thing off at 5 p.m. with the boys showdown between top-ranked City High (6-0) and ninth-ranked West High (5-2) following at around 6:45 p.m.
Here are a few things to watch as the annual cross-town showdown returns to the UI Complex after being played at City High last season.
The Usual Suspects
Watching the West High senior duo of Regan Steigleder and Emma Cooper is always worth the price of admission.
On Friday, the duo could be the difference against a City High squad that prides itself on playing strong defense.
Steigleder and Cooper give West High the most dangerous 1-2 scoring punch in the state and have already combined for 12 goals in six matches this season, accounting for all but one of West High’s goals.
Not surprisingly the duo has played a leading role in each of the last two wins over City High.
Both Cooper and Steigleder had a goal in a 2-1 win over City High last season and Steigleder had the game-winner in the 2015 win over the Little Hawks.
Dynamic Defending Duo
While West High possesses a dangerous duo known for scoring goals, City High has its own impressive tandem that specializes in preventing them.
Senior all-state center back Grace Brown and standout sophomore keeper Naomi Meurice spearhead a City High defense that has already posted three shutouts and allowed just three goals on the season.
Brown and Meurice will need to be at their best on Friday against a West High squad that has scored six goals in its past two games, both wins over ranked opponents.
Spectators always get plenty of bang for their buck in the cross-town double header but the boys game has provided extra value the past two seasons.
Each of the last two contests between City High and West High have gone to overtime with City High winning in a penalty kick shootout last year.
The Little Hawks needed five minutes of overtime to record a 2-1 win in 2015 and City High just avoided overtime in 2014 when Scott Tribbey scored as time expired.
Does the Streak Go On?
City High has won three straight in the boys series after last year’s 1-0 win.
Prior to the three-game City High win streak, West High won three in a row over the Little Hawks in 2012 and 2013 punctuated by a 2-1 victory in the 2103 state title game.
All three wins during City High’s current streak have come by one goal and two via 1-0 decisions.
Goals should be at a premium again on Friday as the two teams have allowed a combined eight goals in 13 matches this season.
Stars Come Out
Big games always seem to bring out the best in the top players.
The annual showdown between City High and West High has been no different.
West High will look for clutch performances from Alex Andersen (7 goals), Sam Choi (4 goals) and senior keeper Zach Frisbie.
The same goes for City High with Jonah Dancer (7 goals), Cameron Chavez (5 goals) and keeper Sam Tomek.