116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Center Point-Urbana doesn’t have a wall in front of its goal.
It just feels that way sometimes.
No. 10 CPU shut out No. 14 Iowa City Regina, 2-0, on Tuesday night in a Class 1A girls’ soccer regional semifinal.
“Our defense is pretty solid,” CPU junior defender Madison Daily said. “We all work together. We stay compact on the ball and then spread out when we attack.”
CPU improved to 14-3. In 17 games, the Stormin’ Pointers have given up seven goals. Total. Including just one in the last seven games.
“I’ve always told kids, the object is to score more than your opponent,” CPU Coach Kevin Schmidt said. “If you can contain the other team, and not allow them to shoot and score on you, you have a much better chance. I think we’ve done that all year.”
If they can do it one more time, it’ll earn them a trip to Des Moines. CPU faces No. 12 Hudson (11-2-1) on Thursday in a regional final in Center Point.
Beating No. 14 Regina on its home field was not easy. The Regals feature one of the top goal scorers in 1A in Grace Gaarde, who has 29 goals.
“They had a very fast central defense,” Gaarde said. “And they were just very ready for every ball we threw at them. They were one step ahead of us, and that made it hard to get past them.”
Schmidt said the team’s identity was built around Daily and senior Tallie Kohl.
“They do a wonderful job of directing traffic and keeping everyone in front of them,” Schmidt said. “I think that those two embody our defense, and they bring that to the other players.”
Whenever Regina would try to put together a run, the CPU defense took it apart.
“(Kohl) is a very strong central defender,” Gaarde said. “I did not know she was going to be like that. We weren’t ready for that.”
It seemed like one goal might win it for either team. Tied 0-0 at halftime, CPU finally broke through just two minutes into the second half.
Freshman forward Emily Bowe hit a high shot that Regina goalie Coutney Kessler tried to punch over the top bar, but only deflected it.
Midway through the second half, the Stormin’ Pointers added insurance. Freshman Logan Keller took a pass from sophomore Luci Person and kicked it into the net in front of the goal.
Regina never had an answer.
“They play a little different than some of the other teams we play,” Regina Coach Ann Larew said. “They play really well as a unit. We struggled to adapt to it. It took us out of playing our game.”
Regina finished 11-6, and Larew was pleased considering how many members of the team were involved in other sports.
“We are still very connected, but it is harder with multi-sport players,” Gaarde said.