WAVERLY — Kenzie Roling broke free twice in the first two minutes of the game.
And that was bad news for the Mount Vernon Mustangs.
Roling connected on two of her four goals to start the game, sparking second-ranked Waverly-Shell Rock to a 10-0 rout in the Class 2A girls’ regional soccer finals.
Roling, a sophomore who has already committed to the University of Iowa, collected three first-half goals as the Go-Hawks powered to a 6-0 halftime lead Monday night at the Waverly Soccer Complex.
“I think it was really important that we set the tone early and after that we just kept the momentum going,” Roling said. “Our team really came together offensively and defensively. Our defense was awesome and made some great saves.”
A determined and hungry Waverly-Shell Rock (15-1) squad advanced to Thursday’s state tournament in Des Moines where the second-seeded Go-Hawks face seventh-seeded Council Bluffs Lewis Central (14-4) at 2 p.m.
The Go-Hawks are headed to state for the sixth straight season. W-SR was undefeated last year before falling to Lewis Central 1-0 in the state championship game.
“We’re super excited and super motivated,” Roling said, “and we hope we can go just as far as we did last year. We gave it all we had last year. We want to do that again this year, but just have a different outcome.”
Mount Vernon finished its season 13-5.
Roling, an all-state selection, delivered a perfect crossing pass in front of the net that teammate Hailee Kent booted home for the third Go-Hawk goal.
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Roling followed by scoring the fourth goal when she fired in a pinpoint shot from the right side of the net.
“I think the experience we gained from playing at state last year will definitely help us,” Roling said. “We know what to expect and we know what it takes. This team has a positive attitude and we’re excited about going back to state.”
Go-Hawk freshman Macy Smith also scored four goals Monday, including the final two of the night. Her last goal ended the game with 8:32 left after her team went up by 10.
“It was definitely huge for us to come out strong and that really put the momentum in our favor,” W-SR coach Lauren Greiner said. “Both Macy and Kenzie have done an excellent job finding the back of the net. They both have a lot of speed and they use it to their advantage. Our girls did an excellent job finding those two, and they were able to stay composed and finish.”
Junior Makayla Reed also scored a goal for W-SR.
The Go-Hawks excelled defensively with junior goalkeeper Gabby Burman pitching a shutout against an opponent that featured its share of firepower.
“Mount Vernon, between two of its girls, had almost 50 goals this season,” Greiner said. “Our defense did an excellent job shutting them down and Gabby came up with some big saves. We really came through with a great effort defensively.”
Now the Go-Hawks turn their focus to the state tournament and take aim at bringing home a championship trophy.
“We’re super excited to be going back to state,” Greiner said. “We are playing well together and hopefully we can come out strong on Thursday. For our seniors, this is their fourth trip to state and we still haven’t brought home that title. It’s definitely been a goal of theirs all season and they are ready to get back. We have a lot of unfinished business and they are ready to take care of it.”