Your Prep Sports
No. 6 West High (18-2) vs. No. 4 Pleasant Valley (16-1)
It is a state championship rematch from a year ago in the 3A quarterfinals as defending champion Pleasant Valley opens its title defense against West High after downing the Trojans 1-0 in the 3A title game a year ago.
Two-time defending 3A runner-up West High returns to Cownie Soccer Complex this week for the sixth consecutive season seeking the 10th state title in program history but first since 2017.
West High enters as one of the hottest teams in the state winners of 14 consecutive matches after a 6-1 win over No. 16 Cedar Falls in the substate title game.
The Trojans have scored at least two goals in all but one match during their current 14-match winning streak and have scored at least four goals eight times during that stretch.
West High features one of the most dynamic goal scorers in the state in junior Michael Nelson who ranks second in 4A with 36 goals on the season.
Nelson has gotten plenty of help with six other Trojans scoring three or more goals led by senior Miguel Cohen Suarez who has 12 goals and eight assists after a three-goal effort in the substate final.
Pleasant Valley brings its own seven-match winning streak into the state tournament and has allowed just two goals and posted six shutouts over its last seven matches.
The Spartans didn’t allow a goal in three state tournament wins last season and have been equally difficult to score against this season posting 14 shutouts in 17 matches.
Junior Jeffery Rinker leads the Pleasant Valley attack with 17 goals while senior midfielder Rhys Ward has 10 goals and six assists.
No. 1 Ankeny (19-1) vs. No. 3 Waukee Northwest (8-10)
One of two opening-round rematches between CIML opponents this has all the makings of the top match of the quarterfinals.
Ankeny returns to the state tournament for the first time since 2019 and does so as the top-ranked and top-seeded team.
The Hawks have been impressive with their lone loss a double-overtime setback to Johnston on May 6.
Ankeny won the first meeting between the two teams 2-1 in overtime back on May 10 in Waukee.
Waukee Northwest makes its state tournament debut in its first season as a program.
The Wolves had to forfeit their first eight matches of the season but will be as dangerous as ever this week in Des Moines.
Waukee Northwest has wins over defending champion Pleasant Valley 3-0 and fifth-ranked Ankeny Centennial with its lone losses over its last 10 games coming to second-ranked Johnston and top-ranked Ankeny.
No. 7 Urbandale (16-3) vs. No. 5 Ankeny Centennial (15-3)
Another opening-round rematch of CIML rivals should be another highly match in a strong lineup of 3A quarterfinals.
Ankeny Centennial is making its second consecutive state tournament appearance after falling in penalty kicks to West Des Moines Valley in its opener a year ago.
The Jaguars won the regular season meeting over Urbandale in a shootout back in April.
Ankeny Centennial lost to state qualifiers Ankeny and Waukee Northwest down the stretch but responded with substate wins over Southeast Polk and Des Moines Hoover to return to the state tournament.
The Jaguars have one of the top attacks in the state ranking second in 3A with 79 goals this season and have four players with at least 13 goals led by junior Rashidi Ishibwami with 22 goals.
Urbandale is back at the state tournament for the first time since 2019 after a 3-2 win over Des Moines East in the substate finals.
The losses for the J-Hawks have come to state qualifiers Ankeny Centennial and Johnston and No. 13 West Des Moines Dowling.
Urbandale has relied heavily on the senior scoring trio of Hayden Marks, Iranzi Ntakirutimana and Carlos Orellana which has combined for 41 goals and 17 assists.
Marks leads the team with 21 goals while Ntakirutimana has 11 goals and five assists.
No. 2 Johnston (18-1) vs. No. 9 Cedar Rapids Prairie (16-3)
An intriguing quarterfinal matchup features a pair of teams from different conferences capable of making a state tournament run.
Second-ranked Johnston is making its second consecutive state tournament appearance after falling to Pleasant Valley 1-0 in the semifinals last season.
The Dragons have won nine in a row since their lone loss of the season against Des Moines Hoover on April 22 and defeated No. 12 City High 1-0 in the substate final.
Johnston is 4-0 against Mississippi Valley Conference teams this season outscoring Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Linn-Mar, Cedar Rapids Jefferson and City High by a combined total of 18-2.
Cedar Rapids Prairie returns to the state tournament for the fourth time in five seasons and second year in a row after downing No. 10 Liberty High in the substate final.
The Hawks lost 1-0 to Pleasant Valley in the 3A quarterfinals last season and entering the state tournament on a five-match winning streak.
Cedar Rapids Prairie has won 11 of its last 12 and all three of its losses this season have come to ranked foes in City High, West High and West Des Moines Valley.
West High: Michael Nelson, Jr., – The single season scoring leader at West High, Nelson has had a breakthrough season leading the Trojans with 36 goals to go with nine assists.
Ankeny: Lucas Newhard, Sr., – One of the most dynamic scorers anywhere in the state Newhard ranks second in Class 3A with 36 goals and has eight assists
Waukee Northwest: Cole Schrage, Jr., – Schrage has been a stalwart for the Wolves during their debut season leading Waukee Northwest with 19 goals and 12 assists.
Urbandale: Hayden Marks, Sr., – Marks has scored a team-high 21 goals to lead the J-Hawks and ranks ninth in Class 3A in goals.
Ankeny Centennial: Andrew Heckenlaible, Soph., – Last season Heckenlaible scored 17 goals but the sophomore standout has been more of a facilitator this season leading 3A with 21 assists to go with 13 goals.
Pleasant Valley: Rhys Ward, Sr., – A second-team all-state pick a year ago Ward has picked up where he left off last season ranking second on the team in both goals (10) and assists (6) for the defending champs.
Johnston: Wilmont Manneh, Sr., – A returning first-team all-state selection from a year ago Manneh has once again been one of the most dynamic players in the state leading the Dragons in both assists (15) and goals (23).
Cedar Rapids Prairie: Tyler Fear, Sr., – Fear has taken a big step forward this season scoring a career-high 19 goals to lead the Hawks while adding six assists.
The field in 2022 is as balanced as any in recent memory with as many as four teams realistic choices for the outright favorite.
Defending state champion Pleasant Valley, perennial power West High, top-seeded Ankeny and second-ranked Johnston could all stake a claim as the pre-tournament favorite.
We will go with top-ranked Ankeny in the favorite role by virtue of wins over state tournament qualifiers Waukee Northwest and Ankeny Centennial and the presence of dynamic scorer Lucas Newhard.
This is truly a field without a true underdog.
Waukee Northwest is far from a typical eight seed entering third-ranked but dropped by the early-season forfeit losses.
The nod based almost solely on seeding goes to Cedar Rapids Prairie which is a state tournament regular of the last half decade and is fully capable of winning state tournament matches.
This is the perfect spot for West High to return to the top of the Class 3A soccer world.
The Trojans are red hot, have one of the state’s top playmakers and a roster filled with state tournament experience however the Trojans are still riding a little under the radar this season.
West High has a difficult draw with the one-loss defending state champion in the opening round but has a roster and coaching staff capable of making yet another state tournament run.
Five Fast Facts
* – Three of the teams in the 2022 field lost 1-0 to defending state champion Pleasant Valley last season with Johnston, West High and Cedar Rapids Prairie all suffering shutout setbacks against the Spartans.
* – Pleasant Valley junior keeper Jack Kilstrom leads 3A with a 94.2% save percentage allowing four goals and making 65 saves.
* – Since the state moved to three classes in 2009 there has been a back-to-back champion in 3A three times. Pleasant Valley will attempt to make it four back-to-back champs after Waukee won two in a row in 2018 and 2019.
* – West High is making its state-leading 22nd appearance at the state tournament. The Trojans have reached the state title match in 14 of its previous 21 trips to state.
* – West High junior Michael Nelson has scored a goal in 16 of the 19 matches he has played in this season and has scored two or more goals 10 times.
Ankeny (19-1) vs. Waukee Northwest (8-10), 5 p.m.
Urbandale (16-3) vs. Ankeny Centennial (15-3), 5:10 p.m.
West High (18-2) vs. Pleasant Valley (16-1), 5:20 p.m.
Johnston (18-1) vs. Cedar Rapids Prairie (16-3), 5:30 p.m.
Ankeny/Waukee Northwest winner vs. Urbandale/Ankeny Centennial winner, 5 p.m.
West High/Pleasant Valley winner vs. Johnston/Cedar Rapids Prairie winner, 5:10 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.