By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
No. 1 Davenport Assumption (16-2) vs. Regina (7-12)
Two of the marquee programs in Class 1A open the state tournament with a rematch of last year’s 1A title match.
The Knights are making their 11th consecutive appearance at state (second longest streak of all-time) and have won five of the last six 1A titles.
Davenport Assumption defeated Regina 2-1 on May 26 in the regular season finale for both teams, its fourth straight win over the Regals dating back to 2015.
Each of the previous five meetings between the two teams have been decided by a single goal including a 1-0 win by Assumption in the 1A title match last season.
Regina won three consecutive postseason matches by a combined score of 10-2, returning to the state tournament for the sixth straight season with a 2-0 win over ninth-ranked Central DeWitt.
All 12 of the losses for Regina have come to either larger schools or ranked competition, including four, one-goal losses to state tournament qualifiers.
To earn its first win over Assumption since a 2-1 regular season win in 2014, Regina will need to keep close tabs on all-state Molly Gervase.
The junior has scored a goal in all four of her career matchups with Regina, providing the game-winner in last year’s title match.
No. 5 Nevada (13-4) vs. No. 6 Denver (17-3)
Perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the opening round matches one of the highest scoring teams in 1A in Denver against one of the stingiest defensive sides in Nevada.
Led by the dynamic duo of Johnnie Hill (42 goals, 14 assists) and Annie Place (24 goals, 18 assists) Denver ranks second in 1A with 95 goals this season.
The Cyclones average 4.75 goals per game and scored four or more goals 11 times this season.
Denver will have its hands full with a Nevada defense that has allowed 10 goals all season, third fewest in 1A.
Following back-to-back losses to open the season, Nevada has posted shutouts in 11 of 15 matches allowing just four goals during that stretch.
Nevada has posted four straight shutouts entering the state tournament while outscoring opponents 30-0.
The experience edge goes to Nevada, which is making its sixth straight appearance and has reached the semifinals in each of its previous five trips.
Denver avenged a regular season loss to No. 3 Waterloo Columbus with a 3-2 win in the regional final to earn its second state tournament trip and first since 2013.
No. 2 North Polk (16-2) vs. No. 8 Tri-Center (17-2)
One of these two teams will be appearing in the state semifinals for the first time as both enter looking for their first state tournament victory.
North Polk is making its first ever appearance at state and enters with a 15-match winning streak, the longest active streak in 1A.
Following back-to-back losses to 2A qualifier Norwalk and 2A top-ranked Pella the Comets have rattled off an impressive winning streak that includes wins over state qualifiers Newton, Gilbert and Nevada and three 3A opponents.
North Polk has allowed three goals during its 15-match winning streak and has 12 shutouts in the streak.
Tri-Center is looking for its first win at state in its second straight appearance and third all-time.
The Trojans lost to eventual champion Davenport Assumption 7-0 in the quarterfinals last season but are hoping for a longer stay at state this season.
Tri-Center is avenged a 3-0 regular season loss to Council Bluffs St. Albert with a 3-1 win in the regional final.
The trio of Alyssa Baatz, Tillie Heim and Samantha Brich has combined to score 59 of the Trojans’ 71 goals this season.
No. 4 Gilbert (16-3) vs. No. 7 Center Point-Urbana (15-4)
Gilbert has been to state five times before this season without a victory to show for it but the Tigers enter coming off perhaps their most impressive regular season.
Led by 40 goals from Northern Iowa recruit Grace Stearns, Gilbert has scored a state-best 114 goals this season, an average of six per match.
Gilbert is far more than just Stearns. The Tigers are tied for the fewest goals allowed in 1A, giving up just eight this season.
Two of the three losses for Gilbert came to state qualifiers North Polk and ADM with the other a 1-0 setback to 2A No. 10 Clear Creek Amana.
Center Point-Urbana is making its second straight state tournament appearance after falling in a penalty kick shootout to Waterloo Columbus in the quarterfinals last season.
The Stormin’ Pointers lost back-to-back games to 2A qualifier Union and 1A No. 3 Waterloo Columbus to end the regular season but opponents 12-0 in a pair of regional wins.
Center Point-Urbana posted shutouts in 12 of its final 15 matches, allowing five goals total during that stretch.
DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION: Molly Gervase, Jr. A first team all-state pick last year, Gervase leads Assumption with 17 goals and eight assists.
REGINA: Lauren Gaarde, Jr., The center of the Regina attack from her midfield spot, Gaarde leads the Regals with 19 goals and has six assists.
NEVADA: Abby Stephenson, Sr., First team all-state pick last season ranks sixth in Class 1A with 33 goals and has added 11 assists.
DENVER: Johnnie Hill, Sr., Northern Iowa recruit has put together the best season of her career with 42 goals (3rd in 1A) and 13 assists.
NORTH POLK: Joy Smith, Sr., All-state selection ranks fifth in 1A with 34 goals and has nine assists.
TRI-CENTER: Alyssa Baatz, Sr., Had a goal and an assist in both postseason wins and ranks ninth in 1A with 25 goals on the season.
GILBERT: Olivia Stearns, Sr., One of the most dangerous scorers in the state regardless of class, Stearns ranks fourth in 1A with 40 goals and has 11 assists.
CENTER POINT-URBANA: Adrianna Katcher, Fr., Freshman has made a splash in her debut season leading the Stormin’ Pointers with 16 goals including four in a pair of postseason wins.
Until someone can beat Davenport Assumption at Cownie Soccer complex it’s a one-horse race in 1A and perennial power Regina gets first the first crack at the Knights in the quarterfinals.
Nevada has reached the semifinals five straight seasons, falling to Assumption three times in the final four during that span including a 2-0 semifinal setback last season.
Keep an eye on state newcomer North Polk which has won 15 straight, only lost to top-notch 2A competition and features one of the best players in 2A in senior Joy Smith.
Since the state tournament went to three classes for the 2011 season Davenport Assumption has ruled supreme in Class 1A.
Assumption has won five of six 1A titles during the three-class era including and is seeking a second straight after outscoring foes 10-0 on its way to the 1A crown last season.
The only two losses for the Knights this season came to 3A qualifier Bettendorf and 2A qualifier North Scott.
Will there be a new champ?
Sure, Davenport Assumption is attempting to defend its title of a year ago but the Knights are the only team in the field with a title so a title for any other team would be a first.
The Knights have been impressive against this season outscoring opponents 73-8.
Five Fast Facts
1. Denver is the lone state tournament team in any class with a player with more than 40 goals (Johnnie Hill 42) and another player with more than 20 goals (Annie Place 24).
2. Gilbert scored 10 or more goals eight times this season on its way to a state leading 114 goals. The rest of the teams in the 1A field scored 10 or more goals in a match 14 times this season.
3. Since the tournament went to three classes in 2011 Davenport Assumption has won five titles, gone 15-1 in state tournament matches while outscoring opponents 50-8.
4. With 12 losses Regina is the only team in the 1A field with more than four as the other seven 1A qualifiers have combined for 20 losses. However of those 12 losses for the Regals nine have come by one goal and five to Class 3A competition.
5. Five players in the state scored at least 40 goals this season and two of them are in the 1A field in Denver senior Johnnie Hill (42 goals) and Gilbert senior Olivia Stearns (40).
Davenport Assumption (16-2) vs. Regina (7-12), Noon
Nevada (13-4) vs. Denver (17-3), 12:15 p.m.
North Polk (16-2) vs. Tri-Center (17-2), 12:30 p.m.
Gilbert (16-3) vs. Center Point-Urbana (15-4), 12:45 p.m.
Davenport Assumption/Regina winner vs. Nevada/Denver winner, Noon
North Polk/Tri-Center winner vs. Gilbert/Center Point-Urbana winner, 12:15 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 11 a.m.