Unfortunately the magical season that was officially concluded Thursday afternoon as the Dallas Center-Grimes girls’ soccer team fell in the opening round of the girls’ state soccer tournament.
The Fillies came in as the eighth seed and they took on powerhouse and tournament top seed Lewis Central. Despite stingy defense, the Fillies saw an early Titan lead grow and their season would end by a 2-0 final.
The Fillies really did put up quite a defensive show considering that the Titans came into the tournament with the second most goals scored in Class 2A, averaging five goals per contest. Dallas Center-Grimes has held teams to an average of one goal per game and held Lewis Central to two goals or less marking just the seventh team all season to do so.
The Titans struck early as a bad hop put the Fillies out of position and in turn gave Lewis Central a 1-0 lead after just four minutes of play. That 1-0 mark remained throughout the half and no scoring would occur on either side. Lewis Central did strike again with 25 minutes left, and that would end up being the final score with the Fillies falling 2-0.
This was the tenth state tournament appearance for the Fillies who have become regulars throughout state tournament yearbooks. Despite the outcome head coach Dan James was pleased with his team and mentioned how making it to state wasn’t a dream come true, it was an expectation.
“At the beginning of every season we expect to make the state tournament,” said James. “Even some years when we might not have had the talent as we did this season, if we didn’t make state it was a little disappointing. We’ve become a mainstay here at the tournament and we intend on staying that way.”
The Fillies made their eight appearance to the Cownie Soccer Complex in the past eleven seasons.
Of course, what is a state tournament bound team without a solid core of seniors which is exactly what the Fillies had, and what coach James credits as a huge reason for the successful season.
“They have been a great group of leaders, all nine of them out there,” began James. “This was their teams and the last few weeks they decided they didn’t want their season to end and they pushed the team to the state tournament.”
The Fillies ended their season averaging two goals scored per game while allowing slightly over one goal per contest.
After the conclusion of the state tournament two Filly soccer stars found themselves on the 2018 Class 2A All-State team. Senior Lexi Smith and freshman Emma Angus found themselves with All-State honors after the Iowa Girls Coaches Association (IGCA) deemed them worthy of such honors.
Smith was the first team selection for the Fillies. The senior was third on the team in scoring with four goals made and nine points acquired. Smith ends her tenure at DC-G with 12 goals scored with ten assists dished out.
Smith was part of a large senior group for the Fillies and one that head coach Dan James had a lot of praise for after the conclusion of their season.
“They have been a great group of leaders, all nine of them out there,” began James. “This was their team and the last few weeks they decided they didn’t want their season to end and they pushed the team to the state tournament. They brought great skill and leadership to this team and without that I’m not sure where this team would be this season. They were a hard working, dedicated bunch and that’s something you just can’t coach, it has to be there and this senior group had it.”
The second team All-State selection for the Fillies included freshman Emma Angus. The freshman had just four shots on goal but was primarily used in a defensive capacity. Angus helped the Fillies develop one of the stingiest defenses around by allowing just one goal against them on average per game this season. The Fillies held a Lewis Central team that averaged five goals per contest two just two in their state tournament battle.
The Fillies weren’t the highest scoring team and relied more on their defense which head coach Dan James praised for their performances this season.
“The defense has been outstanding all season long,” began James. “Our team may not have scored a lot but we did a great job of limiting opposing offenses which in turn gave our offense more opportunities to score.”
The Fillies loose nine seniors to graduation but they do retain the likes of four of their top five scorers from the 2018 campaign.