Coaches Corner: Bishop Heelan’s Shawn Mansfield shares special moments from state championship win

Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 9:48 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The Bishop Heelan girls soccer team won their second state title in program history on Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Gilbert Tigers 2-0, bringing home the first title since 2015.

The Crusaders beat a #2 seed, a #3 seed and a #4 seed to win, but they never viewed themselves as the underdog living by their motto of “Play like a champion today.”

Head coach Shawn Mansfield said it was an exciting moment to sit back and watch the team celebrate as all of their hard work paid off.

“It was really special for our senior class especially with 12 seniors and eight starters as seniors. You know, they’ve been through a lot of adversity through their years in high school. Their first year as freshmen, their season was canceled because of COVID. And then we started out 0-4 and were 1-7 at one point and made the state tournament. Their sophomore year, we started out 0-4, made the state tournament. Last year, we started out 0-4 as well and made the state tournament, and this year we were 0-2 to start the season and won a state title,” said Coach Mansfield.

Bishop Heelan made their 21st appearance at the state tournament which is a state best. The state tournament experience and culture of Bishop Heelan soccer continues to show year after year.

“I think the culture that Heelan high school soccer has on the girls side is special, and I think that carries over year after year after year. And I think that helped us going into this state tournament,” said Mansfield.

The Crusaders have a few records in the books, but continued adding to that this year by only allowing one goal during their entire state tournament appearance.

“We have a few records in there. We have the most goals scored in a game in the state tournament with nine. But I think what’s really special is this year, we got into the state record books with only allowing one goal in the tournament. And I think that’s a special thing that a lot of people might not realize,” said Mansfield.

Coach Mansfield coached a handful of the seniors back when they were in the fourth and fifth grade, and has now watched them grow as players and mature into who they are today. He says his ‘Why’ is exactly that.... having the opportunity to watch players grow and accomplish their goals.

“I think just seeing the joy the kids have of accomplishing something like this. To watch kids grow and develop throughout the year, from day one to the end of the year. Just watching that growth is gratifying, especially when you see something like this... that they can accomplish and win a state title,” said Mansfield.