Before the Dallas Center-Grimes girls soccer team began their state soccer semi-final run against second-seeded Waverly-Shell Rock Friday, June 7 at the Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines, they had an amazing regular season run.
There was a lot of excitement riding into the state tournament given the fact that the Fillies were one of just four teams in Class 2A to allow under ten goals scored all season while collecting 14 wins along the way. Those 14 wins marked just the second time in four years since the last time the Fillies captured over ten wins for their season.
Then the Little Hawkeye Conference champions took on conference rival Pella in their first round match-up, coming out victorious on an overtime thriller. All that made it safe to say that even against a team like Waverly-Shell Rock. The last time the Fillies and the Go-Hawks matched up in state tournament action was back in the Class 1A 2010 state tournament in which DC-G claimed victory.
Back then there were a total of four goals scored but within the 2019 edition, defense would become much more prominent. The Go-Hawks had been held to under two goals scored in a game just seven times this season with the Fillies number being nine. On top of that, rarely had either team found themselves without a goal scored across the first half of play. In state semi-final action, however, that would be the case as the first forty minutes of play couldn’t yield a single goal.
The scoring action would actually pick up midway through the second half as both teams captured at least four shots on goal within the final 20 minutes of action. Just like it had in the first game for the Fillies, the semi-final match-up quickly had the feeling that whoever scored first would take the victory. It seemed as though the Fillies had that honor off of a corner kick with under 20 minutes remaining but an unfortunate call back took the goal off the board and put a little damper on the Fillies.
“What happened was that they said that the ball curved out of bounds and then came back in off the corner kick and at no point, even through the air, can the ball cross the out of bounds line,” began head coach Dan James. “It was a whirlwind of emotions for these girls when they call a goal only to take it back 30 seconds later. It took the wind out of our sails for a bit and when we look back, that play was the deciding factor in the loss.”
It would be the deciding factor because just a few minutes later, with 17 minutes remaining in regulation, Waverly-Shell Rock would capture a break-away goal, just past the outstretched hands of Fillie goalkeeper Dakota Miles. Despite a flurry of offensive activity from the Fillies after that goal, DC-G just couldn’t find the back of the Go-Hawks net and unfortunately watched their season come to an end with a 1-0 loss. Even with the loss, there was still a lot to be proud of as coach James went on to explain.
“We had a couple of chances off corners but we just couldn’t get it done today,” started James. “With that said I thought this team did a phenomenal job at holding one of the highest scoring teams in the state to just one goal. It just goes to prove our defense is one of if not the best defense in the state and I’ll stick by that statement.”
It was quite the season for the Fillies who began with several question marks and ended as a state-semifinalist despite some big shoes to fill.
“At the beginning of the season there were some question marks with some new people stepping up but they did a phenomenal job and here we are at state,” said James. “We had Dakota Miles step into soccer for the first time and play lights out the entire season. That’s the caliber of athletes that we have here at DC-G.”
Even though it wasn’t the outcome they would have wanted, the loss didn’t mark the end of just any season, but one that will be remembered across history. It marked the seventh time Fillie soccer captured back-to-back state tournament berths. They end their 2019 campaign with a 14-3 record and all three of their losses came against state tournament teams.
The Fillies will depart with seven seniors including Dakota Miles, Kaylin Berghoefer, Audrey Eaton, Zoey Chumbley, Megan Kurth, Maddie Duey, and Sami Sterbenz.