IOWA CITY — For 20 minutes Cedar Rapids Jefferson was every bit the equal of defending champion Iowa City West. The J-Hawks played aggressively, challenged the goal in numbers and were able to stop the Trojan attack.
But for the final 60 minutes, West’s depth and superior talent took over. Ryan O’Deen had a hat trick as the Trojans beat the J-Hawks, 7-0, in a substate semifinal.
West will play Prairie (8-7) Saturday at noon at West (17-1). West won the regular-season game, 1-0, on April 22.
“I think we were wearing them down with our depth,” O’Deen said. “We just kept going after them, and eventually they started to break down defensively and we were able to get our goals.”
“I think we adapted well to what they were trying to do,” midfielder Ben Troester said. “They tried to stuff us high and man-mark us, and I think that sort of messed us up in the beginning, but we adapted and sort of took it to them in the second half.”
“Their defensive style was pretty aggressive and it was working until Jason Guymon got off a one-touch shot with a header,” West coach Brad Stiles said. “That just kind of neutralizes a team that’s very aggressive, and the same thing happened with O’Deen. He got off a one-touch shot too.”
Guymon headed in the first goal in the 23rd minute on a perfect cross from Dwight Bode. The second goal came from O’Deen in the 34th minute off a free kick from Ben Troester.
“Ben had a quick free kick right over the top and it bounced perfectly in front of me, and I just tried to flick it in the top of the goal,” O’Deen said. Both were bang-bang scores
West put it away with two goals in the first three minutes of the second half. O’Deen scored on a rush at the goal that produced a deflection that he knocked in. Then Bode scored 48 seconds later on an assist from O’Deen. Garrett Grimsman scored in the 51st minute with an open net. Antonio Sanchez and O’Deen finished out the scoring for West.
“Their depth is no doubt a problem for us,” Jefferson coach John O’Connor said. “When they can sub seven or eight it’s tough to keep up with. Our boys fought. They put more pressure on them than the first time we played them. The first 15, 20 minutes it was an exciting game. We had a lot of good offense, and our boys came to play.
“We changed some things to create difference offense, and I don’t think they were ready for it. But Brad is a smart coach and he adjusted to it in the second half.”
Jefferson graduates five seniors, but its entire midfield returns including the active, creative Jacob Chiza up top.
“My kids fought hard; I couldn’t be prouder of them,” O’Connor said.