All it took was a 10-minute window for Dallas Center-Grimes to score three goals and put the game out of reach against Adel-DeSoto-Minburn on Monday in the regional finals. The DC-G girls’ soccer team defeated the A-D-M girls’ soccer team 3-0 in Grimes and advanced to the state tournament, which will begin on Thursday.
The Fillies (14-5) have been matched up against Pleasant Valley (11-8) in the first round of the tournament.
The game was even and tied 0-0 at half time and the Tigers even looked to have the momentum at the beginning of the second half, but in the 52nd minute, McKenzie Smith of DC-G scored her first of three goals. After that goal, the flood gates opened as Smith connected again in the 55th minute and then again in the 62nd minute.
“We know that after you score that first goal, we knew that was going to deflate a team,” DC-G coach Dan James said. “Whether you get scored on or not, that next two or three minutes after you score a goal is like the most dangerous time in the game of soccer.”
This is the Fillies’ third-straight state tournament appearance coming up. Last season the Fillies and the Tigers both made the state tournament as they were both in different regional brackets.
The Tigers and Fillies both made early exits after the first round. The Tigers lost to Cedar Rapids Xavier 4-1 and the Fillies lost to Pella 2-1.
“They know what to expect, but at the same time, we’re going to be facing a top-quality team there,” James said. “Obviously it’s going to be a grudge match when we get there and hopefully we can put on another top performance like we did tonight.”
The Fillies begin their state tournament run on Thursday against Pleasant Valley at Cownie Soccer Park in Des Moines. The game begins at 3:15 p.m. on field 9.
If the Fillies win that game they will play in the semifinals on Friday at 2:45 p.m. on field 9, and if they can win again they will play in the state championship game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., again, on field 9.
After the game was over, DC-G athletic director Steve Watson announced that the win was James’s 200th career win as a coach. James said he didn’t know how close he was to the milestone until a couple of weeks ago when someone asked him about it.
“It’s not something I was fretting over, but knowing the last week how close I was, it’s kind of a cool milestone,” James said. “There’s not a lot of coaches who have 200 wins so it speaks highly of the athletes we have here at Dallas Center-Grimes. I’m just fortunate enough to work with great kids over the last few years.”
James will be looking for win No. 201 against Pleasant Valley on Thursday at Cownie Soccer Park in Des Moines.