Iowa City West Advances to the 3a Semi-finals

DES MOINES – Dave Rosenthal was presented with girls' soccer's highest achievement award before Iowa City West's state tournament game Thursday afternoon.

His team feated him with a victory that turned out to be one of his most rewarding but also probably did some permanent damage to his heart.

The Women of Troy built a two-goal lead at the half, had Johnston score twice on them in the final 16 minutes of regulation, including the equalizer with 11 seconds left, but regrouped to win in penalty kicks, 3-2.

West (16-4) plays another Central Iowa Metro League team in West Des Moines Dowling in Friday night's semifinals at 7. Take a deep breath everyone.

"It's a relief. That's the feeling," said West keeper Jayne Heinrich, after making the PK save that finally ended the drama. "All I wanted to do was run and go hug my teammates. I'm so proud of them. We had a great game."

More accurately a great first 60 minutes or so and a great penalty kick portion. Alli Peterson scored in the 10th minute to put West out front early, 1-0, then set up Quinn Terrill's goal late in the half.

That seemed to be more than enough, but Johnston (16-4) rallied late. Payton Thompson made it a 2-1 game with a goal with 15:25 left, and the Dragons sustained all kinds of offensive pressure down the stretch, with run after run after run.

West was obviously wilting, though it still seemed to have enough to hang on. But on a last-gasp possession, freshman Rachel Roshek found the ball in the penalty area and curled a shot that hit the inside of the left post and went in for a shocking tie.

"Man, did Johnston pressure," said Rosenthal, the first coach to receive the IGHSAU's Golden Plaque of Distinction Award. "They really picked it up, they changed their game, they changed their aggressiveness ... We fell apart a little bit when we needed composure. I'm a little disappointed in that."

"Our coaches said that was the past," Peterson said. "We have to forget about it, we have to move on, there is nothing we could do about it. We took that (advice) and applied it to the rest of the game ... We said it's 0-0, let's just go in there and work our hardest to try and put one in."

Johnston carried play in the first 10-minute overtime, with Heinrich called on to make a couple of saves. It was more even in the second OT.

Heinrich made an early save against Johnston's number two shooter Paige Elming, but Dragons keeper Emily Hanson stoned West's Payton Pottratz as she attempted to win it on the fifth PK go around. That sent the game to sudden-death penalty kicks.

West's Sam Ryken converted. Heinrich cleanly caught Anne Wallace's attempt, and that was it.

"It was a little nerveracking," Heinrich said. "I try to block out everything. Try to read the girl and pick a side. Stick to it and not focus on anything anyone else is saying. Just be in my own little world, I guess."

"Jayne Henrich is our senior, and she has been playing very, very well here at the end of the season," Rosenthal said. "The penalty kicks we've practiced pretty much every day for the last two weeks of the season. Because we want to make sure that we have the confidence going into this (tournament, we want to make sure we have the confidence getting through the last bit here. That helped pay off."
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