Your Prep Sports
The 2023 state soccer tournament will get underway May 30 at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.
First the fields need to be set and that comes on Wednesday.
Substate semifinal matchups are set for all four classes across Iowa with 32 teams earning spots at next week’s state tournament.
Five Your Prep Sports area teams will be in action on Wednesday in substate finals.
Here is a quick look at all five substate final matches featuring area teams.
Class 4A, Substate 5
No. 16 Dubuque Senior (12-4) at No. 6 West High (14-2)
When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Ed Barker Field at West High
Top players: Dubuque Senior – Owen Hull, Sr., 14 goals, 10 assists; Nyle Jenkins, Jr., 14 goals, 4 assists. West High – Kaleab Wendy, Jr., 15 goals, 5 assists; Michel Nelson, Sr., 12 goals, 4 assists.
About the Rams: Dubuque Senior enters the substate final red hot having won four straight matches after 3-2 upset of No. 12 Bettendorf in the substate semifinal.
The Rams have scored 17 goals during their current four-match winning streak that includes a 4-3 win over 3A ninth-ranked Liberty High.
Dubuque Senior has a dangerous scoring combination in Hull and Jenkins who have combined for 28 of the Rams’ 40 goals this season and also have a combined 14 assists between them.
About the Trojans: West High is seeking a seventh consecutive state tournament appearance and enters the substate title match playing as well as any team in the state.
The Trojans have won 10 in a row after a 3-2 loss to Cedar Rapids Prairie on April 20 and have outscored opponents 45-6 during their current winning streak.
West High advanced to the substate final with a 6-0 win over Davenport North on Monday as head coach Brad Stiles collected career victory number 400.
What to watch: West High scored less than four minutes into its win over Davenport North on Monday and while goals in the opening few minutes are relatively uncommon look for the Trojans to push the tempo early on their home field.
The Trojans are 6-0 on Barker Field this season and have scored 30 goals in those matches so keep an eye on West High attempting to put early pressure on the Dubuque Senior defense in the opening minutes.
Class 4A, Substate 6
No. 15 City High (8-6) at No. 10 Cedar Rapids Kennedy (11-2)
When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids
Top players: Cedar Rapids Kennedy – Lwings Kabula, Sr., 12 goals, 7 assists; Carter Newhouse, Sr., 6 goals, 3 assists. City High – Emmitt Hansen, Sr., 5 goals, 5 assists; Alima Mmunga, 4 goals, 3 assists.
About the Cougars: Cedar Rapids Kennedy opened the season with six straight wins, including a win over third-ranked Johnston, before its first loss of the season at City High on April 25.
The Cougars are 5-1 since that loss to the Little Hawks with the lone blemish during that stretch a 3-1 loss to West High on May 12.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy defeated Davenport Central 2-0 in its postseason opener on Monday and is seeking its first trip to the state tournament since 2019.
About the Little Hawks: City High is seeking its first trip to the state tournament since 2018 and will need a road win to return to Des Moines.
The Little Hawks are 3-4 in matches away from home this season after avenging a regular season road loss to Linn-Mar with a 1-0 win over the Lions in Marion on Monday in a substate semifinal.
City High has won three straight matches, all via shutout, since its loss at Linn-Mar on May 5 and has outscored opponents 8-0 during that stretch.
What to watch: A pair of Mississippi Valley Conference rivals meet in a postseason regular of a regular season match won 2-1 by City High in overtime last month.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy has won five of its last six matches and senior Lwings Kabula has four goals and an assist during that stretch for the Cougars.
Kabula didn’t record a point and had just one shot in the regular season loss to City High and the Little Hawks will look to keep the Kennedy standout quiet again on Wednesday.
Class 3A, Substate 4
No. 15 Fort Madison (15-3) vs. No. 9 Liberty High (8-8)
When: Wednesday, 5 p.m.
Where: Liberty High School
Top players: Fort Madison – Xander Wellman, Sr., 30 goals, 16 assists; Henry Graham, Soph., 12 goals 7 assists. Liberty High – Hayden Saul, Sr., 16 goals, 3 assists; Flori Gembo, Jr., 13 goals, 4 assists.
About the Bloodhounds: Fort Madison won a season rubber match of Burlington in the substate opener on Monday with a 4-2 win over the Grayhounds that followed a pair of 1-0 regular season matches between the two rivals.
The Bloodhounds started the season 11-0 but lost three of five to close the regular season with setbacks to No. 10 Newton, No. 12 Pella and Burlington.
Fort Madison scored three first-half goals in its substate semifinal win on Monday to get back on track and is seeking its first trip to state since 2007.
About the Lightning: Liberty High opened the season 2-7 with all seven losses coming to ranked Class 4A opponents.
Since a win over two-time defending state champion Pleasant Valley on May 2 the Lightning have won six of seven with the lone loss coming to 4A No. 16 Dubuque Senior.
Liberty High has won three straight including a 7-0 win over Clear Creek Amana in its substate opener on Monday and has outscored opponents 18-0 during its current three-game winning streak.
The Lightning are appearing in a substate title game for the second year in a row and seeking the first state tournament berth in program history.
What to watch: The task for Liberty High is relatively straightforward – slow down Fort Madison senior Xander Wellman.
Wellman ranks second in 3A this season with 30 goals and had three in a substate semifinal win over Burlington on Monday.
In the three losses for Fort Madison this season Wellman has scored a combined one goal. In the 15 wins for the Bloodhounds the senior standout has scored 29 times.
Class 1A, Substate 4
Dyersville Beckman (11-6) at No. 2 Regina (16-4)
When: Wednesday, 5 p.m.
Where: Regina High School
Top players: Dyersville Beckman – Matthew Florence, Junior, 19 goals, 5 assists; Dylan Recker,Soph.,10 goals, 12 assists. Regina – Jack Hoover, Jr., 11 goals, 3 assists; Eddie Petersen, Jr., 10 goals, 8 assists.
About the Trailblazers: Among the most consistently successful small school programs in the state for the last decade Dyersville Beckman is seeking its ninth trip to the state tournament and second in a row after falling in the 1A semifinals last season.
The Blazers started the season 5-0, lost five of their next six and have now won five of their last six after avenging a regular season loss with a 3-1 win over Prince of Peace in the substate semifinals on Monday.
Beckman has a talented trio of scorers in Florence, Recker and sophomore Jack Schmidt that have combined for 41 of the Blazers 60 goals this season and also have a combined 22 assists.
About the Regals: The standard of small school soccer in the state of Iowa for the past 20 years Regina is seeking a return to the state tournament after a rare miss last season.
The Regals are unbeaten against Class 1A competition this season with all four losses coming to opponents from larger classes including one-goal setbacks to 2A No. 5 Nevada and 2A second-ranked Davenport Assumption.
Regina has won three straight while outscoring opponents 18-1 following a 5-0 victory over Tipton in the substate semifinals on Monday.
What to watch: Two long-time rivals and two of the top 1A programs state wide meet in the substate title match for the second consecutive season after Beckman denied Regina a trip to state with a 1-0 win over the Regals a year ago.
Regina has won a pair of regular season matches against the Blazers this spring defeating Beckman 2-1 in Dyersville on April 24 and adding a 1-0 win in Davenport on April 29.
Expect a tight, defensive battle on Wednesday between a pair of extremely well-coached teams that are organized on the back end and don’t concede anything easily.
Class 1A, Substate 6
West Branch (13-3) at No. 14 Pella Christian (7-8)
When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Pella Christian High School
Top players: Pella Christian – Ethan Van Arendonk, Soph., 13 goals, 3 assists; Camden Parker, Soph., 6 goals, five assists. West Branch – Joe Hamann, Jr., 24 goals, 4 assists; Christian Scire, Soph., 14 goals, one assist.
About the Eagles: Pella Christian advanced to the substate final with a 6-0 win over Central Lee on Monday and is seeking the second trip to the state tournament in program history and first since 2016.
Don’t pay much attention to the record, the Eagles have been tested.
Six of its eight losses for Pella Christian have come to ranked opponents from larger classes and the Eagles have a 5-3 win over 1A third-ranked Des Moines Christian.
Four players, Van Arendonk, Parker and Theo Hagen and Jack Fancher have accounted for 30 of the 36 goals for Pella Christian this season.
About the Bears: An up-and-coming program in Class 1A West Branch has gone 24-5 the past two seasons but been bounced from the playoffs in the substate semifinals each season.
The Bears got past that point on Monday with a 6-0 win over Sigourney at West High and will attempt to secure the first state tournament berth in program history.
West Branch plays fast, scoring 60 goals in 16 matches this season and is adept at putting stress on opposing defenses.
Only two Bears, Hamann and Scire, have scored double digit goals but three others, Reese Gingerich, Trenton Schutte and Cameron Gingerich have at least four goals on the season.
Schutte has a team-high 18 assists.
What to watch: This should be one of the most exciting substate finals in the state on Wednesday between a pair of programs seeking to make program history.
West Branch is seeking its first ever trip to state while Pella Christian is chasing its second ever state tournament appearance.
Expect the energy, especially early, to be high so whichever side is able to survive the opening barrage better may be set up well in the second half.