By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
No. 1 Dyersville Beckman (17-1) vs. Sioux Center (7-9)
Two-time defending state champion Dyersville Beckman is attempting to become the first 1A team to win three straight titles since Regina claimed its third consecutive crown in 2011.
After back-to-back unbeaten seasons the Blazers enter the state tournament with one loss but have been as impressive as ever outscoring opponents 72-5.
Beckman is 57-1 over the past three seasons and has outscored opponents 14-2 in six state tournament matches the past two seasons.
Six straight losses dropped Sioux Center to 2-9 on May 9 but the Warriors rattled of five straight losses highlighted by a 10-3 win over Western Christian in the district final to reach the state tournament for the first time.
Jordan Brantsen (15 goals) and Jesus Granillo have accounted for 26 of the 36 goals for Sioux Center.
No. 3 Regina (13-5) vs. No. 4 Solon (16-5)
The lone regular season rematch in the 1A quarterfinals comes between two long-time rivals that know each other well. Solon and Regina will meet at state for the first time since the 2011 1A title game won by Regina.
Thursday’s quarterfinal is a rematch of a regular season meeting that Regina won in a penalty kick shoot on April 29 in Solon.
Regina enters on a four-match winning streak after knocking off No. 11 Iowa Mennonite and No. 15 Williamsburg in the substate tournament.
Solon is making its first state tournament appearance since 2012 and has won five straight matches all via shutout and hasn’t allowed a goal since May 2.
The Spartans are one of the top defensive teams in 1A, allowing just 12 goals this season while posting 15 shutouts in 16 wins.
Solon has offensive firepower namely in the trio of Luke Yetley (15 goals), Ben Carr (12 goals, 12 assists) and Isaac Vang (11 goals).
No. 5 Gilbert (15-3) vs. No. 16 Council Bluffs St. Albert (11-10)
Don’t be fooled by the double-digit losses, Council Bluffs St. Albert isn’t a typical seven seed.
Seven of those losses have come to 2A or 3A competition and two others are by a single goal to top-four teams Davenport Assumption and Regina in a three-game in one-day tournament in Cedar Rapids.
Despite its record or seed St. Albert is as dangerous as ever, especially with perhaps the most dynamic player in the 1A field on its side in senior Rodrigo Barajas who has a 1A tourney best 30 goals.
Gilbert returns to the state tournament for the first time since finishing runner-up in 2015. The Tigers won their second overtime game in nine days over No. 7 Des Moines Christian to return to state. Gilbert followed up a 1-0 win via penalty kicks over Des Moines Christian in the regular season finale with a 4-3 overtime victory in the substate final.
No. 2 Davenport Assumption (14-6) vs. Garner-Hayfield-Ventura (10-6)
The Knights are back at state for the first time since winning the second of its back-to-back state titles in 2003.
Assumption has one of the top trios in Class 1A in Sam Moore (21 goals), Trent Fitzpatrick (15 goals) and Ben Beutel (15 goals) and ranks fifth in class 1A with 66 goals.
Five of the six losses for Assumption came at the hands of Class 3A competition with the other loss a 1-0 setback to two-time defending champ Dyersville Beckman.
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura is making its state tournament debut and brings a five-match winning streak to Cownie Soccer Complex.
Junior Connor Burke has scored a goal in nine consecutive matches entering the state tournament helping the Cardinals score two or more goals in all nine of those matches.
DYERSVILLE BECKMAN: Ben Palmer, Jr. One of three Beckman players with 11 goals on the season, Palmer also has eight assists for the top scoring team in Class 1A.
SIOUX CENTER: Jordan Brantsen, Sr. His 15 goals account for nearly 43 percent of the scoring for Sioux Center this season and is coming off a five-goal performance in a district final win over Western Christian.
REGINA: Nick Pechous, Jr. Three of his team-high 18 goals have come in a pair of postseason wins including two in a 4-0 district final victory over Williamsburg.
SOLON: Ben Carr, Sr. The centerpiece of the Spartan attack, Carr has a team-high 12 assists and ranks second on the team with 12 goals.
GILBERT: Andrew Thatcher, Sr. Has a team-high 16 goals and leads Class 1A with 19 assists.
COUNCIL BLUFFS ST. ALBERT: Rodrigo Barajas Sr. Among the most dynamic players in the state, Barajas ranks third in Class 1A with 30 goals.
DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION: Sam Moore, Jr. Headlines a potent Assumption attack that features three players with at least 15 goals with a team-high 21 goals and eight assists.
GARNER-HAYFIELD-VENTURA: Connor Burke Jr. The lone player on the Garner-Hayfield-Ventura roster with double digit goals, Burke ranks fourth in 1A with 26.
Dyersville Beckman and Davenport Assumption split a pair of regular season matches and could get a winner-take-all rubber match in the 1A championship.
The top two seeds face first-time qualifiers in the quarterfinals but will have their hands full in semifinals.
With a win Beckman faces a rematch of last year’s 2-0 semifinal win over Regina or rematch of a 2-0 win at Solon this season.
Until someone beats two-time defending state champion Dyersville Beckman at Cowie Soccer Complex the Blazers will remain the team to beat.
However, with 10 consecutive appearances and five titles since 2009 Regina is never to be taken lightly at the state tournament.
Davenport Assumption has wins over both Regina and Dyersville Beckman this season and Solon has the ability to make a title run if it can get past a tough opener with the Regals.
Since the state tournament went to three classes in 2009 Regina and Beckman have won seven of the eight titles.
Will Regina or Beckman add to that title count this season?
There are plenty of teams with the talent to stop that streak with Davenport Assumption and Solon at the top of that list.
Five Fast Facts
1. Dyersville Beckman had a 47-match winning streak snapped earlier this season with a 1-0 loss to Davenport Assumption on April 22.
2. Solon has posted shutouts in 15 of its 16 victories this season.
3. Regina is 9-1 in state quarterfinal matches, its lone loss in its state tournament opener coming to Gilbert in 2015.
4. Only two teams from last year’s Class 1A field, Dyersville Beckman and Regina, returned to the state tournament this season.
5. Davenport Assumption has a six-match state tournament winning streak, going 3-0 en route to titles in 2002 and 2003.
Dyersville Beckman (17-1) vs. Sioux Center (7-9), Noon
Regina (13-5) vs. Solon (16-5), 12:10 p.m.
Gilbert (15-3) vs. Council Bluffs St. Albert (11-10), 12:15 p.m.
Davenport Assumption (14-6) vs. Garner-Hayfield-Ventura (10-6), 12:05 p.m.
Dyersville Beckman/Sioux Center winner vs. Regina/Solon winner, Noon
Gilbert/Council Bluffs St. Albert winner vs. Davenport Assumption/Garner-Hayfield-Ventura winner, 12:05 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 12:05 p.m.