What were learned from Nevada reaching the 1A semifinals of the girls state soccer tournament

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune

Nevada made it back to the Class 1A semifinals of the girls state soccer tournament to cap another outstanding season.

The Cubs defeated Bishop Heelan Catholic in the quarterfinals May 31, winning a 1-0 battle. They lost to the Davenport Assumption dynasty for the sixth time since 2013 in a heartbreaking 2-1 shootout during the semifinals June 2 at the Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.

Nevada ended another outstanding season at 13-7. The Cubs have now made 10-straight trips to the state tournament and they've reached the semifinals eight times during that stretch.

Here is how the Cub girls fared at the 2022 girls state soccer tournament:

Davenport Assumption 2, Nevada 1 (shootout)

Nevada played the best 60 minutes of its life in the Class 1A semifinals of the girls state soccer tournament June 2 at the Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.

But it still wasn't quite enough to get past defending state champion Davenport Assumption.

The Cubs fell in a shootout by a 2-1 score. It is the sixth time Assumption has knocked them out of the state tournament since 2013.

"I'm super proud of this team," Nevada senior midfielder Tessa Borwick said. "I think we had a lot of good chances. I'm really proud of everyone. I really love this team and I'm really happy with how much we've grown since the beginning of the year."

Borwick converted fifth-seeded Nevada's first penalty kick of the shootout. But the Cubs were off on their next two when Mayzi Weig was high with a shot and Savannah Skaggs had her shot deflected by Knight keeper Dawsen Dorsey.

Nevada's goalkeeper Maddie Dunham (66) saves the ball around Assumption's Jade Jackson(23) during the first half in the Class 1A girls' state soccer semi-final at James Cownie Soccer Park Tuesday, June 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Nevada keeper Maddie Dunham gave the Cubs hope when she deflected the PK attempt by Assumption's Jade Jackson on the Knights' fourth attempt. But Alexandria Arnaud was high on the Cubs fourth attempt to end the shootout.

"I'm very proud of my team and myself," Dunham said. "It was a hard way to lose."

Borwick gave Nevada hope with just under six minutes left in regulation. 

With her team trailing 1-0, Borwick got a look from 35 yards out and let one go. Known for her cannon of a leg, Borwick sent a perfect ball sailing high and on target. The ball caught Dorsey off guard when she came up to defend it, sailing over her head and into the net to tie the game.

"Somebody set me up really well," Borwick said. "I was able to get my left foot on it and get it over the goalie."

Nevada's mid-fielder Contessa Borwick (17) celebrates with team mates defense Emma Strottman (24) and defense Graci Schiller (21) after a score during the second half in the Class 1A girls state soccer semi-final at James Cownie Soccer Park Tuesday, June 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa.

The first half was an even battle that ended in a scoreless tie. But top-seeded Assumption really started to pressure Nevada eight minutes into the second half.

The Knights got a couple of great looks, with Dunham making a spectacular save to the right side in a scrum 13 minutes into the half.

But two minutes later, Assumption found its opening. Dru Dorsey got the ball near the goal and slipped it past Dunham for a 1-0 Knight lead.

That was the only time the Knights got one past Dunham until the shootout. The Cub keeper was sensational, making 19 saves before the shootout to help give her team a chance to pull off the upset.

"The whole week she's been spectacular," Borwick said. "This is her first year as our goalie. She stepped up and did really well for us. I'm so happy to have her."

Dunham just took over as the starting varsity keeper this year. The Cub senior had great seasons in volleyball and basketball, so she wasn't bothered by the high-stakes atmosphere of the state tournament.

"Just don't think about the pressure," Dunham said. "If you think about it, you'll mess up. You've just got to keep going strong."

Nevada finished the season at 13-7. Borwick, Dunham and the rest of the Cub senior class helped Nevada make the state tournament 10 years in a row and she expects that streak to continue next season.

"It's been a lot of fun, that's for sure," Borwick said. "Our freshman year, we had a lot of really good seniors. Our sophomore year, we would've had good seniors. Our junior year, we had good seniors and hopefully this year we were good seniors. We had a lot of good chemistry and they'll be good next year. Look out for Nevada next year."

Assumption's Dru Dorsey (11) and Nevada's defense Evelyn Anderson (14) battle to control the ball during the second half in the Class 1A girls' state soccer semi-final at James Cownie Soccer Park Tuesday, June 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Assumption takes a 16-4 record into the 1A championship game against Des Moines Christian (20-1), which defeated Underwood in the other 1A semifinal, 2-0.

The 1A girls state championship game takes place Saturday at 10 a.m. on Field 9 at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

Davenport Assumption 2, Nevada 1 (shootout)

Nevada            0    1    0    0    0 — 1

Assumption      0    1    0    0    1 — 2

Scoring

Second half

DA — Dru Dorsey (Gracen Ruggles), 55:04

N — Tessa Borwick, 74:10

Shootout

DA — Ruggles

N — Borwick

DA — Lyvia Hulsbrink

DA — Nataly Bahns

Nevada 1, Bishop Heelan 0

Pressure wasn't an issue for Nevada keeper Maddie Dunham during the Class 1A quarterfinals of the girls state soccer tournament May 31 in Des Moines.

Dunham was staring down Bishop Heelan's Jada Newberg as she prepared to defend a penalty kick 15 minutes and 46 seconds into the second half. The Cubs had just scored 10 minutes earlier and Dunham wanted to make sure their lead wasn't erased.

She took a look as Newberg made her approach and then quickly dove to her right after the ball was kicked. Dunham fully extended her body and knocked the ball away with both hands.

"The one thing that helps me is that we practice them every day in practice," Dunham said. "That helped calmed my nerves. Then, when I saw where her foot was planted, I knew exactly where she was going so that's how I saved it."

That turned out to be the clutch play of the game.

"I held my breath the whole time," Dunham said. "As soon as I saved it, I was about to cry. It was so exciting."

More: Nevada girls soccer enters state outscoring regional opponents 17-0: Cub boys also qualify

Nevada's girls' soccer team celebrates after winning 1-0 over Bishop Heelan in the Class 1A girls state soccer quarter-final at James Cownie Soccer Park Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Fifth-seeded Nevada withstood a strong charge from fourth-seeded Bishop Heelan over the final 25 minutes to pull off a 1-0 victory and advance to the 1A semifinals.

"We're just going to keep strong and keep going," Dunham said. 

Bishop Heelan's defense Maddie Gengler (2)  clears the ball around Nevada's forward Mayzi Weig (18) during the second half in the Class 1A girls' state soccer quarter-final at James Cownie Soccer Park Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa.

The win earned Nevada a nice celebration after the game.

"We get to go to Spaghetti Works," Nevada senior forward Mayzi Weig said. "I'm pretty excited for some noodles."

Weig scored the game's only goal. She got a tremendous ball from midfielder Isabelle Nelson from the right side and was able to slip by Crusader keeper Lauren LaFleur and punch the ball in from right in front of the net just over three minutes into the second half.

"I had a really good ball and it was perfect timing," Weig said. "Bell had a really good ball and I just had to take the right touches, be calm and score it. It felt really good."

Nevada was due to score after being in control for the majority of the first half. Tessa Borwick had a couple of long balls that sailed just high and Aubrey Thompson and Mayzi Weig each had a good look that was just off the mark during the first 40 minutes of play.

But after the Cubs scored, Bishop Heelan was on the offensive for most of the second half. Led by Newberg, Trelyn White and Mia Conley, the Crusaders got their share of good looks, but couldn't convert against a tough Nevada defense.

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Nevada's mid-fielder Aubrey Thompson (13) drives for the ball as Bishop Heelan's goalkeeper Lauren LaFleur (00) saves during the second half in the Class 1A girls' state soccer quarter-final at James Cownie Soccer Park Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa.

"It's just being strong," Dunham said of the Cubs' defensive effort. "You've just got to keep pushing on."

Bishop Heelan ended its season with a 14-5 record.

Nevada 1, Bishop Heelan 0

Bishop Heelan    0    0 — 0

Nevada                0    1 — 1

Scoring

Second half

N — Mayzi Weig (Isabelle Nelson), 43:12.