The 2023 Iowa boys high school state soccer tournament began Tuesday afternoon and a field of eight teams in Class 2A was whittled down to four semifinalists.
State quarterfinal competition saw four shutouts in Class 2A, with 3-seed Gilbert and 2-seed Bishop Heelan Catholic both rolling to 5-0 victories over No. 6 Greene County and No. 7 Center Point-Urbana, respectively. Top-seeded Davenport Assumption pulled off a 2-0 triumph over No. 8 Perry and No. 5 Nevada scored a mild upset with a 1-0 victory over 4-seed Webster City.
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Thursday’s 2A semifinals will be Assumption (16-1) vs. Nevada (16-4) on Field 9 at 1 p.m. and Gilbert (19-2) against Bishop Heelan (14-2) on Field 6 at 1:10.
Here is a quick recap of each of the 2A boys state soccer quarterfinal games.
Gilbert 5, Greene County 0
Gilbert did not mess around in its 2A quarterfinal game.
The Tigers came into state with a motto of taking care of business and they lived up to it Tuesday, jumping out to a 4-0 lead at the half behind an amazing performance from sophomore Tyler Holtan.
“We’ve just got to be focused,” Holtan said. “If we stray away from that, we’re going to come away with a loss. But if we stay focused I see us going to the final.”
Holtan scored a hat trick in the first half. The first two came off great passes from his older brother Zach and the last on a breakaway.
“It’s amazing,” Tyler Holtan said. “I owe everything to my brother. I couldn’t have scored without him. He gave me a couple of beautiful balls and you’ve just got to put them in the back of the net.”
Zach said he and his brother have tremendous chemistry on the soccer field.
“It’s something we grew up doing,” Zach Holtan said. “It’s a delight to be able to play with him.”
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Truman Kruckenberg scored the other two goals for Gilbert.
The Tigers fell to Pella in last year’s 2A semifinals. They do not want to relive that feeling this year.
“The past is the past, we’ve just got to keep going,” Zach Holtan said. “It’s a business trip. That’s all it is. We’ve got to get the business done.”
Greene County finished its season with a 13-5 record.
Nevada 1, Webster City 0
Nevada got a big measure of redemption in the 2A quarterfinals against Webster City.
The Cubs lost to West Liberty in last year’s quarterfinals in double-overtime by a 3-2 score on a penalty kick. They turned the tables on Webster City on Tuesday as Drew Robinson scored the game’s only goal on a penalty kick in the 63rd minute.
“I feel like we deserved it because last year that fluke penalty at the end ended our season,” Robinson said. “This year we got one. It kind of levels out.”
Robinson, who now has 40 goals on the season, was in his comfort zone during the PK.
“I’ve taken every PK this year for our team,” Robinson said. “I go to the same spot every time and it’s pretty much an un-gettable spot for a keeper if I hit it right.”
Nevada midfielder Edgar Cabrera said the Cubs showed great poise after Webster City came out and took it to them for most of the first half.
“They came out and surprised us a little bit,” Cabrera said. “But once we were settled in, figured who their players were, what they like to do and we were able to shut it down and put passes together and find open spots.”
Nevada is looking forward to its shot at No. 1 Assumption in the semifinals Thursday.
“I think we’re ready for it,” Cabrera said. “We’ve played pretty well and if we start out strong we’ll have ourselves a good game.”
Webster City finished the season with a 14-2 record.
Davenport Assumption 2, Perry 0
Assumption took on a good challenge from Perry and survived Thursday.
Luke Klostermann was the hero on offense for the Knights. He scored both goals for Assumption and the Knights defense provided him with tremendous support.
Perry ended its season with an 11-8 record.
Bishop Heelan 5, CPU 0
Bishop Heelan made short work of CPU behind a huge game from Alejandro Suarez.
Suarez picked up a hat trick for the Crusaders. Kameron Fjeldheim and Jesse Castillo each scored once and Bryan Rios and Alejandro Gonzalez each had an assist.
CPU finished their campaign with a 12-4 record.