Busy Stretch Catches up to Regina in 2-0 Loss to 2A No. 14 Union

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – Ann Larew didn’t feel like making excuses after watching her team’s match with Class 2A No. 14 Union on Monday.

No one could really blame the Regina coach if she did.

Coming off a long weekend with a short bench and missing their top two goal keepers caught up with the Class 1A fourth-ranked Regals in a 2-0 loss to Union at Regal Field.

“I think we are a better team than way we played today and I think part of that is being tired but that’s not an excuse that’s just a motivation,” Larew said. “I think that kind of hammers home why we work on the things we work on, why the small details are crucial and why our fitness and being able to play 80 minutes multiple times in a row is important.”

Union (9-4) scored once in each half while winning for the seventh time in eight matches.

The loss ended a string of five matches in five days for Regina (6-5) that started with a 1-0 loss to 3A No. 15 Cedar Rapids Washington and included a 2-1 performance at the Waverly-Shell Rock tournament on Saturday.

“We played three matches on Saturday and that’s hard and I think it showed today,” Larew said. “Despite the fact that we played a good game on Thursday they played very well in the tournament on Saturday in all three games, it was just tough to rebound today.”  

To further complicating things Regina was without its two regular goal keepers on Monday and was also down two other starters due to injury.

Regular keeper Megan Wick sat out after receiving a red card on Saturday while backup Abigail Burger was injured filling in for Wick on Saturday.

Sophomore Stephanie Stenger filled in admirably on Monday coming up with several tough second half saves to keep the Regals within striking distance.

“She did a fantastic job for someone who had never played in the goal before 5 p.m.,” Larew said. “That takes a lot of courage to step in there and play that position when you have never done it before. I thought she did a good job.”

Regina controlled possession for much of the first half but trailed 1-0 at the half after Takoa Kopriva knocked in a loose ball in front of the Regina net in the 29th minute.

“I think we did some very good things, a lot of it is not disappointing,” Larew said. “We did a lot of good things, we played well together I think what we struggled with was adapting to the way they played.”

Regina continued to press in the second half but Union keeper Jasmyn Bush made several stellar stops.

The sophomore finished with 12 saves and kept the Regals off balance often rushing out of the box to send away incoming attempts.

“They had a strong goalie and she came out on us and we didn’t adjust to that as well as we could have,” Larew said. “I think that was the main thing that hurt us because we played well, we moved the ball well, we created opportunities but we struggled to finish and that was because we didn’t adapt well enough.”

Alli Carty fought off a defender in the box to score on a breakaway in the 51st minute to put Union up 2-0.

Regina had several chances to cut into the lead but Bush made a kick save on a Lauren Gaarde one-one-one opportunity in the 69th minute and Greyson Dumont sailed a shot just wide left minutes later.

The loss was the fourth of the season to a ranked in-state opponent for Regina which closes out the regular season with matches against 3A No. 14 Muscatine, 1A No. 3 Nevada, Solon and 1A top-ranked Davenport Assumption.

“I think it will pay off in the end and like always you don’t get better if you don’t play good competition,” Larew said. “We just need to keep playing good competition and it just emphasis to us the things that we are working on are important.”