DES MOINES | Now that West’s boys soccer team has finally reached the second round of the Class 3A state tournament, their job is continue to build upon their momentum.
“It’s not going to stop,” said Carlos Munoz, who scored the game-clinching penalty kick that gave the third-seeded Wolverines a 3-2 win over Iowa City High Thursday night. “We’re going to get ready for the second round, we’re going to go hard and we’re not going to stop.”
West (20-0) has something in common with three of the 3A semifinalists at James W. Cownie Soccer Park. Top-seeded Johnston (20-0) and fifth-seeded Linn Mar (18-3) are also in the state tournament for the fifth consecutive season.
Ankeny Centennial (19-1), the Wolverines’ 5:05 Friday afternoon opponent is in the tournament for the first time. However, Ankeny had seven state appearances before splitting into two schools.
Nermin Kremic has 21 goals and eight assists for Centennial while Kenan Smajlovic has 21 goals and six assists. West, the state’s leader with 110 goals, has four double-digit goal scorers, Antonio Hernandez (26 goals, 11 assists), Gilbert Garcia (19, 17), Esake Husen (13, 9) and Danny Mondragon (11, 8).
“We don’t know much about them, but they are an equally strong team,” said West Coach Gary Fuentes. “We’re going to have come back out and play our game. We have to avoid those injuries and make sure we do more rotating early on in the match.”
A win on Friday will put the three-time Missouri River Activities Conference champions in a state title match that will start at 5 p.m. Saturday. A possible championship opponent is Johnston, which has a 7-8 record in state play, which includes runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2014.
“We have to play with everything,” said Munoz. “Our goal is to get to the finals. That’s what we want. I believe we can achieve that goal. We’ve played with each other a long time. We’re a family.”