West, Heelan & MOC-FV ready for state soccer openers - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports


West, Heelan & MOC-FV ready for state soccer openers

Sioux City West will play in the state soccer tournament for the fourth straight year. Sioux City West will play in the state soccer tournament for the fourth straight year.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - The Iowa boys state soccer tournament beings Thursday in Des Moines. Siouxland is represented in all three classes with Sioux City West, Bishop Heelan and MOC-Floyd Valley.

Of the 48 teams in Class 3A, Wset is the lone representative from Siouxland.

"You know, it's nice getting down there because if you look, there's only eight teams in the entire state of 3A that get down there," Head Coach Gary Fuentes said.

Making their fourth straight appearance in Des Moines, and fifth as a program, West's time at Cownie Park has been short lived.  The Wolverines have never advanced past the first round.  The third seed, they'll will be tested against Cedar Rapids Washington.

"We want to make some noise when we get down there," Fuentes said.  "We want to get past that first round."

"I have a lot of hope with this team," senior Muhktar Ali added. "I'm pretty sure we'll go far this year."

In 2A, Bishop Heelan will be competing at the state tournament for the first time since 20-10.   The Crusaders opened the season with a 6-1 loss to Spencer, but knew to get back to state, they'd have to get past the Tigers.  They did, 2-1 on penalty in their substate final.

"We weren't organized but as the season went on we got better and better,"  Head Coach George Tsiabanos said.  "Our ultimate goal was to beat Spencer to go to state, and we knew we'd have to face Spencer somewhere, somehow. I think we accomplished our goal."

"We knew that we could do it especially after winning nine of our last 10 games," junior Austin Suhr added.  "We had been playing on a streak."

But, road to a state title only gets tougher.  Despite being the top seed, Heelan opens tournament action against Cedar Rapids Xavier, which has won three of the last four titles and is the defending 2A champs.

"They have more championships than all the 2A schools put together," Tsiabanos joked.

"We can't come out flat," Junior Connor Gill said.  "We've come out flat in a couple of games this year and we need to come out right away on fire.  If the midfield is there possessing the ball, I think we have a chance to win a couple of games there."

To 1A -- In just it's 5th year as a program, the Dutch of MOC-Floyd Valley are making their fourth straight appearance in Des Moines.  Under the guidance of new head coach David Miedema, the philosophy to get back to state has been a simple one: teamwork.

"We are better when we can play 11 on a 11 rather than 11 tiny matches of one on one," Head Coach David Miedema said.  "When we make it one team versus another team, we're at our best."

Tested in their sub-state final against West Sioux, the Dutch believe having faced stiffer competition before hitting the pitch at Cownie Park only benefits them.

"I remember my freshman year and sophomore year we didn't have the hardest games I would say," junior Stefan Kinsinger said.  "This year really tested us. We should be ready to go, going down to state."

After finishing third in 2011, the Dutch haven't advanced past the first round.  With 7 seniors leading the way, they plan to change that against Clear Lake.

"We've had a bad taste in our mouths the last two years going out early," senior Parker Mulder said.  "Hopefully we can get a couple of wins down there."

"Our senior year, make it first," senior Efrain Anzua added.  "It's not going to be easy but I do have the opportunity and our whole team -- I think we can make it."

MOC-FV plays at 12:15, Heelan plays at 2:30 and West plays at 5:15 on Thursday.
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