DES MOINES — Soccer players have been known to occasionally bemoan conditioning drills.
Until days like Friday.
“We knew we had to go fast because they are staying on us hard,” Iowa City Regina senior midfielder Drew Hartwig said his goal 1:15 into overtime helped the second-ranked Regals defeat No. 9 Greene County, 2-1, in a Class 1A boys’ soccer state quarterfinal at Cownie Soccer Park. “But all that conditioning that our coach makes us do, we wanted to push as hard as we could right from the get-go and just put it away quick.”
Regina (16-6) — winner of seven of the last 10 1A state titles — will face No. 11 West Liberty (11-7) in a 1A semifinal Saturday at noon. This is the fourth year in a row that the Regals have reached the state semifinals.
Regina defeated West Liberty, 3-2, in a April 25 match decided by penalty kicks.
“West Liberty is always good against us,” Regina Coach Rick Larew said. “I swear to God, they play their best game of the decade whenever they play us. They are always good. They are always strong. They are a very good team.”
Regina sophomore Alec Wick got the scoring started with a goal in the fourth minute, his team-high 30th score this season, which ranks fifth in all of 1A.
Greene County (14-6) tied the match at 1-1 with a goal from sophomore midfielder/forward Luis Velazco, his 28th this season. Greene County junior midfielder/forward Junior Gutierrez — who leads all classes with 55 goals — was held scoreless.
“I thought that both teams were really tired,” Larew said. “You haven’t played in any heat this spring, so that really starts to play a role.”
After a scoreless second half, Hartwig — who did not see a lot of playing time until this season — needed just 75 seconds to end it with his third goal of the season.
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“I just got a good touch on it,” Hartwig said. “One of my teammates called for it, but I looked up and I had a good look at the goal and I just put it away.”
CLASS 1A STATE QUARTERFINAL
At Des Moines
No. 4 Iowa City Regina 2, No. 5 Greene County 1 (OT)
Goals — GC: Luis Velazco (28); ICR: Alec Wick (30), Drew Hartwig (3).
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