116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON - With a game time temperature of nearly 85 degrees - and a heat index even higher - match officials knew the heat would make things difficult during Friday's Class 1A substate semifinal match between Iowa City Regina and Solon.
Both teams even agreed to add two water breaks at the 20-minute mark of each half to attempt to keep their players fresh.
The sweltering heat, though, didn't falter the Regals. Regina (6-12) dominated the majority of the match Friday at Solon High School, cruising to a 2-0 win and advancing to the substate finals.
'It's just good to get another win,” sophomore Lauren Goode said. 'Right now we're at the part where it's win or go home. (Our goal was to) score early, and then score again hopefully, which we did, which is really nice.”
Regina got things started right away, as junior Greyson Dumont found the back of the net in the 9th minute of the match. The Regals kept the pressure up through the rest of the first half, maintaining possession and just narrowly missing several shots on goal.
Getting that goal early allowed Coach Ann Larew's team to play at the level she wanted.
'That was huge, because then it set the tone,” Larew said. 'I think then it's like, ‘OK, now we've settled the nerves,' and (then) we knew that we could do it. I think that just changed the whole attitude.
Regina sophomore Lauren Gaarde found the back of the net just six miutes into the second half, putting the Regals in a comfortable 2-0 lead. From then on, the Spartans (11-9) looked beat, and Regina didn't have any issues through the end of the game.
'We just came out with great enthusiasm right from the beginning, which is what we talked about – playing with enthusiasm but with composure,” Larew said. 'I think that was the key. They were playing intensely, but with great control.”
Regina now will take on No. 9 Dewitt Central (13-4) - which beat Cedar Valley Christian 4-1 on Friday - on Monday in the substate final.
And after seeing what both Gaarde and Larew said was a much improved performance against the Spartans, the Regals are happy with where they are at.
'I think we're playing the best soccer that we've played all year,” Gaarde said. 'Even though people haven't expected us to make it to this point, with our record and everything, I just think that everyone is focused and dialed in right now.”
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