Your Prep Sports
It was another historic season for soccer in the Your Prep Sports area.
Four Your Prep Sports area teams qualified for the state tournament, three reached the state semifinals, two played in the state championship match and Liberty High won the first state crown in program history.
The annual Your Prep Sports all-area boys soccer team is a chance to honor some of the top players responsible for the success of area teams.
The sixth edition of the Your Prep Sports boys soccer team features players from all seven area schools and includes all-conference and all-state performers, state qualifiers and school record holders.
West High senior Michael Nelson and Liberty High senior Hayden Saul are the captains of the 2023 Your Prep Sports all-area team.
Nelson led West High with 23 goals while directing the Trojans to a Class 4A state runner-up finish.
Saul set a Liberty High single season record with 24 goals while directing the Lightning to the Class 3A state title.
2023 Your Prep Sports Area Boys Soccer Team
Senior, West High (Captain)
One of the top players in the state Nelson capped a brilliant career with his most impressive season.
Coming off knee surgery in the offseason Nelson scored a team-high 23 goals in just 17 matches this season while lifting West High to a 17-3 record and a Class 4A state runner-up finish.
Nelson was named Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division player of the year and 4A first-team all-state by the Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association.
As he has been throughout his career Nelson was at his best in the biggest moments scoring goals in all five postseason matches and posting multiple goals four times in that span.
Of the 23 goals for Nelson 11 came in the postseason including five in three matches at state including two in the state championship match.
The single season goal leader at West High, Nelson closed his career with 73 goals and 16 assists in three seasons.
Senior, Liberty High (Captain)
One of the state’s biggest breakout stars this season Saul emerged as one of the top players in Class 3A while directing Liberty High to the first state title in program history.
After scoring 15 goals and handing out four assists in his first two varsity seasons combined Saul surpassed those numbers in his senior season while leading Liberty High to a 12-8 record and the Class 3A state title.
Saul ranked third in Class 3A with a career-high 24 goals and added a career-best five assists on his way to being named Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division player of the year and first-team all-state by the IHSSCA.
The senior standout scored in all five postseason matches and had multiple goals four times during the postseason while racking up 11 postseason goals.
Saul had five goals in three state tournament matches including two goals to go with an assist in a 5-0 win over Norwalk in the 3A title match.
Hoover emerged as the main offensive threat for Regina while helping the Regals return to the Class 1A state semifinals for the 13th time in the past 15 seasons.
The junior scored a team-high 19 goals and added five assists in a breakthrough season that saw Hoover earn second-team 1A all-state honors from the Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association.
Hoover was at his best in the postseason, scoring in all four postseason matches and racking up eight goals in that span including all three Regina goals at the state tournament.
Junior, West Branch
After playing alongside one of the most prolific goal scorers in the state in Peyton Miller the last two seasons Hamann flourished in his first season as the focal point of the West Branch attacking ranking seventh in 1A in goals while leading the Bears to the state tournament for the first time in program history.
Hamann scored a team-high 26 goals and added four assists helping West Branch to a 14-4 record and a spot in the 1A state quarterfinals while earning honorable mention all-state honors from the IHSSCA.
A three-year starter, Hamann has increased his goal total each of the past three seasons racking up 48 goals and 12 assists in his career.
Senior, City High
Mmunga emerged as one of the top players in Class 4A this season while helping City High to an 8-7 record and a spot in the substate title game.
The senior ranked second on the team in both goals and assists on his way to earning first-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division honors as well as second-team Class 4A all-state honors from the IHSSCA
Mmunga had four goals and three assists this season.
Junior, West High
A member of the Your Prep Sports all-area team last season while playing for Regina Wendy posted a stellar junior season in his first year at West High.
The junior forward ranked second on the team in goals while earning first-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference divisional honors and second team all-state honors from the IHSSCA.
After scoring 31 goals and adding 14 assists in two seasons at Regina Wendy had 16 goals and five assists for West High this season helping the Trojans to a 17-3 record and a spot in the Class 4A state title game.
Junior, Liberty High
A two-year starter at West High, Nasr flourished in his first season at Liberty High helping the Lighting win the Class 3A state title.
Nasr earned first-team all-state honors from the IHSSCA and was a first-team all-MVC Mississippi Division pick after a stellar junior season in which he led Liberty High with seven assists and ranked fourth on the team with six goals.
A force on both offense and defense from his spot in the midfield, Nasr scored a goal and had four assists in three state tournament matches while helping Liberty High outscore opponents 11-2 on its way to the 3A title.
After a strong debut season a year ago Conway continued to emerge as one of the top young players in Class 2A ranking second on the team in goals and third in assists.
Conway built on a freshman season that featured four goals and eight assists by scoring seven goals and adding two assists this season while helping Solon to a 6-10 record.
A two-year starter, Conway earned second-team Class 2A all-state honors from the IHSSCA.
Senior, Clear Creek Amana
A stalwart in the Clear Creek Amana lineup for the last three seasons Bormann is a repeat selection on the Your Prep Sports all-area team after leading the Clippers in goals for the second consecutive season.
Bormann tied for the team lead with five goals and three assists this season a year after leading the Clippers with seven goals.
A three-year starter, Bormann closed his prep career with 14 goals and 10 assists.
A three-year starter, Petersen had the best season of his career this spring ranking second on the team in goals and third in assists while helping Regina to a 18-5 record and a spot in the Class 1A semifinals.
Petersen scored 12 goals and added eight assists for the Regals on his way to earning second-team all-state honors from the IHSSCA.
Senior, Liberty High
Gembo continued to establish himself as one of the most dynamic and productive players in the area this season scoring double digit goals for the second consecutive season.
A second-team Class 3A all-state pick by the IHSSCA Gembo ranked second on the team with 16 goals and added six assists this season while helping Liberty High to the 3A state title.
Gembo had six goals and two assists in five postseason matches as Liberty High closed the season on a seven-match winning streak.
Already a three-year starter, Gembo has scored 34 career goals and added 19 assists in three seasons.
Senior, City High
A stalwart in the City High lineup the past several seasons Hansen was a leader for a Little Hawk team that went 8-7 and advanced to the 4A substate title game.
Hansen led City High in both assists and goals on his way to earning first-team Mississippi Valley Conference all-division honors.
The senior had five goals and five assists this season and was an important defensive piece for the Little Hawks.
Junior, West High
In his first season as a full-time starter Heenan became a key contributor for West High helping the Trojans to a 17-3 record and a spot in the Class 4A state title game.
A first-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division pick, Heenan ranked second on the team in assists and added a goal in a breakthrough junior season.
Heenan finished with seven assists as West High finished runner-up at the 4A state tournament.
Sophomore, Liberty High
After getting his feet wet at the varsity level last season as a freshman Sundblad came up big for the Lightning during their postseason run posting six shutouts during a seven-game Liberty High winning streak to close the season.
Sundblad made 77 saves and allowed 33 goals on his way to earning second-team Class 3A all-state honors from the IHSSCA and was at his best during the postseason.
The sophomore keeper allowed just two goals in five postseason matches, posting back-to-back shutouts in the state semifinals and state title match.
Sophomore, West High
After bursting onto the scene with a strong season a year ago Fuentes continued to impress during a stellar sophomore season in which he led West High in assists and ranked third on the team in goals.
Fuentes scored six goals and added four assists as a freshman in 2022 and built on those numbers this spring as a sophomore leading the Trojans with 10 assists and adding nine assists.
A second-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division pick, Fuentes scored three postseason goals while helping the Trojans to a runner-up finish at the 4A state tournament.