West High Splits Two Matches at Season-opening Home Tournament


Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – With just four returning starters and a roster lined with first-year varsity players Brad Stiles expected his West High team to have some ups and downs earlier in the season.

Top-ranked West High got both in a span of five hours on Friday evening at Trojan Field.

Class 3A No. 1 West High split a pair of matches at its own season opening tournament defeating Davenport Assumption 7-0 in its opener and falling to Ankeny Centennial 1-0 in a penalty kick shootout in the nightcap.

“We were a little bit calmer around the goal earlier in the day and I think the intensity of this second game rattled us a little bit which is good because I think they are going to compete pretty well with a lot of teams,” Stile said. “I told the guys with the amount of training we have had outside we were going to be a little bit behind so as well as we played in both games today I think we are maybe right where we need to be.”

West High opened the season by overwhelming Class 2A second-ranked Davenport Assumption 7-0 in the tournament opener.

Micah Frisbie had three goals in the opener while Gada Ambo, Kaiya Luethje, Matthew McDonnell and Anthony Shirazi each added one goal.

Things came much tougher for West High in the nightcap against 3A No. 11 Ankeny Centennial.

West High struggled to mount much of an offensive attack against the Jaguars while playing 70 scoreless minutes.

“It looked like a tennis match at some points today,” Stiles said. “You could tell in the final third we had some miscommunication and we have to get on the same page.”

In the tournament format the game went straight to penalty kicks following a scoreless regulation.

Ankeny Centennial converted its first four attempts in the penalty shootout to secure the win.

“We had some mental mistakes of just position and some experience mistakes,” Stiles said. “I think we might have gotten away with one getting a draw and then losing in a shootout because they had some chances.”

Frisbie converted the first West High chance in the shootout but Shirazi had his shot tipped away by Centennial keeper Cole Pankey and Coleson Krupp followed with a shot that sailed wide left.

Centennial secured the win when Michael Brandt slammed a shot into the left side of the goal.

West High will attempt to rebound on Saturday when it hosts Ankeny at 1:30 p.m. at Trojan Field.

“For it to not be an MVC game it gives us a chance to work out some kinks and it’s a good thing to be able to play again right away,” Stiles said. “Sometimes I wish we could do the same thing a week later in the season just to give us a chance.”