MUSCATINE, Iowa - With 12 minutes to go, Bettendorf's chances looked bleak.
With 10 minutes remaining, hopes were elevated. And by the closing seconds, it was as undeniable as it was improbable.
The Bulldogs toppled No. 1 Ankeny 3-2 in a Class 2A girls soccer semifinal Friday, keeping the crowd engaged throughout.
"That's one of the gutsiest efforts I've ever seen," Bettendorf coach Todd Hornaday said. "That's easily the biggest character performance.
"Ankeny's an incredible team."
So good are the previously unbeaten Hawkettes that they never had even trailed in their 19 previous games. They averaged more than five goals a game and gave up two all season.
But it was the Bulldogs (17-3) that made the most of their chances, scoring on their first three of four total shots on goal.
After 64 minutes of offensive frustration, Bettendorf owned the final 11 minutes. Abby Zimmerman zipped past two Ankeny defenders to knot the score at 2 in the 70th minute.
And soon after, Katie Moore lined up the Bulldogs' only corner kick of the evening and found a leaping Melissa Dunlavy for the decisive goal on a header in the 73rd minute.
The Bulldogs play West Des Moines Valley (16-3) today at 1 p.m.
Bettendorf (17-3) 1 2 - 3
Ankeny (18-1) 2 0 - 2
B - Melissa Dunlavy (unassisted), 5th minute
A - Maggie Riley (unassisted), 35th minute
A - Riley (Megan Fisher), 35th minute
B - Abby Zimmerman (unassisted), 69th minute
B - Dunlavy (Katie Moore), 73rd minute
WDM VALLEY 4, JOHNSTON 0 - West Des Moines Valley scored three goals in six minutes to top Johnston, 4-0, and advance to the Class 2A state championship match.
A pair of freshmen led the scoring charge for the Tigers as Rachel Friesth scored two goals with Grace Nichols adding a goal and an assist. Junior Kate Cunningham added the other Valley goal.
The Tigers will be shooting for their sixth state crown today.
Johnston (15-6) 0 0 - 0
WDM Valley (16-3) 3 1 - 4
WDMV - Rachel Friesth (Mary Hoffman), 20th minute
WDMV - Grace Nichols (Haley Helverson), 26th minute
WDMV - Kate Cunningham (unassisted), 27th minute
WDMV - Friesth (Nichols), 53rd minute
Class 1AUNION COMMUNITY 3, DALLAS CENTER-GRIMES 2 - The Darian Powell show will continue into the Class 1A championship match.
The sophomore scored two goals, including the game-winner with five minutes remaining, to lift the third-ranked Knights to a 3-2 victory over second-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes in the Class 1A Girls State Soccer semifinals Friday night in Muscatine.
The Knights will play defending champion Cedar Rapids Xavier in the Class 1A championship at 11 a.m. today. Powell has scored 61 goals this season.
Union (22-0) 2 1 - 3
Dallas Center-Grimes(19-3) 2 0 - 2
U - Kylie Powell (Lauren Bauer), 3rd minute
U - Darian Powell (Bauer), 7th minute
DCG - Antonia Hutzell (Samantha Copley), 8th minute
DCG - Shelby Bowersox (Jill Schechinger), 24th minute
U - Darian Powell (Bauer) , 78th minute
CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 2, SIOUX CITY HEELAN 1 - Annie Dale's goal with 13 minutes remaining propelled four-time defending champion Cedar Rapids Xavier back to the Class 1A state championship soccer match.
The Saints are gunning for their fifth-straight 1A crown and the sixth in school history.
Bishop Heelan ends its year at 18-4.
Sioux City Heelan (18-4) 0 1 - 1
Cedar Rapids Xavier (21-0) 1 1 - 2
CRX - Lauren Konchar (Mary Levett), 12th minute
SCBH - Carli Tritz (Kelsey Niles), 60th minute
CRX - Annie Dale (Konchar), 67th minute.