Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Zach Logsden had doubts and head coach Brad Stiles had a ticket for a dance recital.
By Saturday evening West High had another state title.
Eighth-seeded and 13th-ranked West High won its state-leading ninth and most improbable state title in program history on Saturday with a 1-0 win over defending 3A champion West Des Moines Valley at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.
“I bought a ticket for my daughter’s dance recital tonight,” Stiles said. “I’m beside myself right now. For these guys to pull together like they did. I’m so happy for them.”
West High (16-7) defeated top-ranked and unbeaten Cedar Rapids Prairie in a shootout in its tournament opener, forcing overtime on a Nicolas Raley goal with 77 seconds left.
The Trojans followed with a 4-1 win over No. 5 Bettendorf before ending second-ranked West Des Moines Valley in successive days to claim the 3A crown for the sixth time in nine seasons.
“When you are losing 1-0 and you are down to the 90 seconds mark you definitely have doubts,” Logsdon said. “The doubts don’t matter now.”
Raley headed in an Alex Andersen cross in the 57th minute to account for all the scoring in Saturday’s title game as West High won its first state title since 2014.
West Des Moines Valley (20-4) had a five-match state tournament winning streak snapped with the loss and was shutout for the first time by an in-state team this season.
“It was incredible,” Raley said. “The last-minute goal against Prairie really set the momentum and we took that attitude home on the bus and we brought it back the next day and came back every day ready to play.”
Two of the state heavyweights with a combined 20 title game appearances and 13 titles, West High and West Des Moines Valley played to a scoreless draw in the first half of the first ever title meeting between the two teams.
West High finally broke through when Andersen beat a defender toward the end line and fired a cross from inside the box toward Raley at the far post.
“I knew exactly where he was,” Andersen said. “The thought went through my head to try to take it myself but I knew there were two guys back post and Raley is really good at heading so I just put it on a dime for him.”
Raley calmly headed the ball in for his third goal of the tournament.
“Absolutely beautiful,” Raley said of the cross from Anderson. “I did nothing but walk it in.”
Raley was named to the 3A all-tournament team after scoring in all three matches including the game winner against Prairie and the opening goal against Bettendorf.
The senior forward finished his senior season second on the team with 13 goals.
“I remember taking Raley as a sophomore and some people questioned it but there is something special about Nick,” Stiles said. “You just have to let him do his thing.”
West High held on but it wasn’t without some tense moments and a couple of huge saves from senior goalkeeper Zach Frisbie.
The best effort from Frisbie came in the 73rd minute when the senior tipped a ball over the cross bar following a Valley free kick from 35 yards out.
“Once we got that goal it took a lot of weight off my shoulders and we were able to settle in,” Frisbie said. “It’s just an amazing feeling to finish it like this.”
Frisbie came up with one final save, on a Julius Cooper header in the 77th minute to secure the eighth career title for Stiles.
“I’m still in shock,” Stiles said. “I can’t believe it. I feel like I should have training tomorrow.”