When the Bettendorf boys soccer team lost to Pleasant Valley back in early April, Bulldogs senior Ian Silva said something was missing in that game.
"Intensity," Silva said of what the Bulldogs lacked. "Which was surprising since it is such big game, but we are definitely going to come at them this time."
The Bulldogs did not have any trouble reaching a rematch with the Spartans, defeating Western Dubuque in a Class 3A substate semifinal, 8-0, on Wednesday night at TouVelle Stadium. The rematch with Pleasant Valley for the substate title is on Saturday at noon at Spartan Stadium.
Bettendorf is seeking its 20th trip to state while the Spartans (15-1) are trying to reach the final eight for the first time.
When the teams played on April 8 at Pleasant Valley, Silva said the team had some defensive lapses that PV was able to take advantage of for an eventual 3-0 win. The Bulldogs (11-2) missed out on the Mississippi Athletic Conference title because of the defeat. Bettendorf's only other loss this season is to Iowa City High.
Silva said that both teams are different than they were six weeks ago but added the Bulldogs also are using a different formation and build their attack with some different players.
"We've changed up the formation a little bit. We moved some people around in the midfield," Silva said. "But we are definitely going to bring the intensity this time around."
Silva was on his game against the Bobcats (3-16). He had two assists to George Elias and Alec Lank in the first half. His corner kick in the second minute of the game was perfectly placed for Lank to head in from barely five yards out.
His second chip pass found Elias open around the top of the penalty area in the 30th minute, and Elias used his own chip shot up and over Western Dubuque goalie Cole Burger to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Gabby Elias, who had two goals of his own in the win, had given Bettendorf a 2-0 lead in the 28th minute by putting back a rebound that Burger could not hold onto after a long shot from outside the box. Silva added his own goal in the 37th minute with a blast from outside 20 yards that beat Burger to the far post. The Bulldogs led 4-0 at halftime.
Joe Byrne, Reed Shea, Gabby Elias and Tyler Wellman all scored for Bettendorf in the second half as the home team outshot the visitors, 24-1, for the contest. Micah Poole had to make just one save in the first half for the Dogs and Nicholas Johnson played the last 40 minutes in goal for the winners. Burger did make 19 saves for Western Dubuque in the loss.
Gabby Elias said the rematch with their crosstown rivals should be exciting again.
"Every year it is always a good match-up, the city gets into it, everybody gets into it," he said. "Last time, the stadium was packed and this time it's going to be even better. They have a talented squad, a lot of the guys on both teams play club together, we all know each other. It's almost like a family but when we are on the field, it's a different feeling. After the game, we are friends again but during (the game) time, it should be intense."