Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – The instant West High pulled even with top-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie on a Nick Raley goal late in the second half of the 3A state quarterfinals on Thursday a thought popped into the mind of Anton N’Dayishimiye.
“After the way (Raley) scored the goal my mind said ‘we got this, we are going to win’,” N’Dayishimiye said.
N’Dayishimiye made sure his mind was telling the truth.
In his first state tournament appearance, N’Dayishimiye converted the clinching penalty kick as No. 13 West High edged top-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie 6-5 on penalty kicks to stun the top-seeded Hawks 2-1 at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.
“It’s my first time to take the pk on the final shot like that,” N’Dayishimiye said. “I’m so happy right now.”
Raley pulled West High even at 1-1 when he headed in a goal with 77 seconds left and West High (14-7) converted its final six opportunities in the penalty kick shootout to reach the state semifinals for the 13th time in the past 15 seasons and first since 2014.
West High will face No. 5 Bettendorf, a 5-0 winner of Urbandale on Thursday, at 5 p.m. on Friday in the semifinals while Prairie closed the season at 19-1.
“We didn’t really get but one look at frame all game it’s just a matter of the way the ball bounces,” West High coach Brad Stiles said. “That’s a good team and a good program and we are just happy to be where we are.”
The lone unbeaten team in the Class 3A field, Cedar Rapids Prairie took an early lead on a Matt Walter goal on a breakaway in the 19th minute.
It stayed 1-0 until one final West High push in the final two minutes final got the equalizer the Trojans worked so hard for.
“We worked hard when they got that goal nobody started to doubt that we were going to be able to get one back and we really pushed for another one,” West High senior keeper Zach Frisbie said. “We got a lot of chances and managed to keep it down in their end a lot and just keep at it and eventually one will have to go in.”
Raley got his head on a ball in front of the net and then out jumped a Prairie defender to head in his own header to pull West High even at 1-1 with 1:17 left.
“I was really looking for a flick for an assist, something going to the back post for a teammate,” Raley said. “I turned and it was way up in the air and as soon as the keeper called off the defenders I was a little bit taller than him and I was able to get it over his head.”
The two teams played two 10-minute overtime sessions without many scoring chances.
West High’s best chance came on an Alex Andersen header off a corner that sailed over the bar in the first overtime while Prairie sophomore Mateaus Lewis was high on an attempt from inside the box in the second overtime.
Prairie keeper Chase Harrison stymied Frisbie on the first West High penalty kick attempt but the Trojans converted their next six attempts and Frisbie came up with a diving save of an Andrew Russell shot to set up N’Dayishimiye for the clincher.
“I just want to get big and try to get in their head,” Frisbie said. “I have worked with my goalie coach this year with different ways to read what they are doing, I managed to read that last one.”
N’Dayishimiye initially banged his shot off the cross bar but had moved before the whistle so was awarded another shot.
He slipped it past Harrison into the net to set off a wild West High celebration.
“I was nervous because this is my first time playing at state,” N’Dayishimiye. “I’m so happy, I believe we are going to win again tomorrow too.”