SIMA FAB 50 No. 42 Ankeny Centennial and St. Thomas Aquinas both went 3-0 in the Borders Bracket, the showcase division of the 48-team event. All teams were scheduled to play three matches, but heavy rain and thunderstorms Saturday brought the event to an early close. Seeing the weather projections, event organizers moved several slated Saturday matches to Friday night. Four of the seven brackets were completed and every team played at least twice.
St. Thomas Aquinas won the Border Battles Group A title over SIMA FAB 50 No. 12 St. Charles North (St. Charles, Ill.), Visitation Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) and Divine Savior-Holy Angels (Milwaukee, Wis.). Centennial, now 10-0 on the season, claimed the Border Battle Group B title over Lee's Summit West (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Waunakee (Wis.) and Peoria Notre Dame (Peoria, Ill.).
Waukee (Iowa) edged Whitefish Bay (Wis.) 1-0 to win the adidas bracket title, and Belleville East (Belleville, Ill.) defeated Springfield (Ill.) 2-1 for the TopDrawerSoccer.com bracket title. SIMA FAB 50 No. 30 Collinsville (Ill.) advanced to the Great River Medical Center bracket final, but the Saturday afternoon championship match was canceled due to heavy rain.
“We build that tournament up, it gets us ready for the rest of our season and our girls really stepped up and pounced on teams,” Centennial coach Chris Allen said. “We scored goals three minutes into the first two matches and seven minutes into the other match. We were ready play to play.”
Centennial handled Peoria Notre Dame 3-0, Waunakee 6-1 and Lee’s Summit West 3-0. Nebraska signee Meg Brandt had at least a goal in each match and finished with four, and Augustana (S.D.) signee Claire Dahm had four goals and two assists.
“Meg really stood out,” Allen said. “She steps up to the level of play that is expected.”
“We keep getting better,” said Aquinas coach Craig Ewing, who conceded that he wasn’t sure what to expect from his youthful team at the annual girls high school showcase event.
Despite graduating six all-state players last year, St. Thomas Aquinas started the season in the SIMA FAB 50 but quickly fell out following an 0-2 start. After winning three matches within 24 hours at the adidas ToC, the Saints, with 10 underclassmen in the starting lineup, are now 10-2-1 and assured a place among the national elite when the next rankings are released Tuesday.
The adidas ToC ended up being quite a coming out party for freshman superstar Hallie Klanke, who assisted on six of the team’s seven goals in wins over Visitation Academy, St. Charles North and Divine Savior-Holy Angels. Sophomore keeper Allyiah Calvert delivered several key saves throughout the weekend. Aquinas' wins over Visitation and DSHA were by 2-1 scores. The Saints stunned St. Charles North with three goals between the seventh and 15th minutes en route to a 3-0 victory.