DES MOINES – Second time at state, second time leaving not feeling great.
Iowa City Regina was feeling pure frustration, to be specific, after a 2-1 loss to Nevada in a Class 1A quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at Cownie Park. Unlike last season’s state tournament debut, these Regals came in favored, rated No. 4 and playing an unranked opponent.
So much for that.
“We were taking our shots, doing everything we could. The ball just wasn’t going in,” said Regina’s Katie Wick. “I think we dominated the game. They’re a good team, but I don’t know. Our shots just weren’t falling. We weren’t playing our game.”
Jenny Wick, Katie’s younger sister, assisted on fellow freshman Lizzy Deprenger’s goal just 6:28 into the game. But instead of extending the lead, the Regals (12-3) watched Nevada tie it just seven minutes later on a goal by Jessica Helton.
Then it was sophomore Elli Cassabaum taking a through ball up the middle and scoring less than five minutes into the second half.
“Getting the momentum is really nice, but it’s keeping it. Keeping it the entire game,” said Regina Coach Jordan Grimm. “That’s what we lacked. What I’m really proud of from the girls is that we did get that momentum back late in the game. That’s a testament to the girls and how bad they wanted it. The ball just didn’t roll our way.”
Regina pressured constantly in the final 10 minutes but either misfired high or wide or watched Nevada keeper Clara Sporrer stymie them with saves. Regina finished with 16 shots to Nevada’s three.
“The girls played really hard,” Grimm said. “You can’t fault them for their effort. But definitely not the way we wanted to end the season.”
Nevada (13-5) plays second-ranked Davenport Assumption in Friday’s semifinals. Regina can pout for a little while if it wants but has to know it could very easily be back at state a third time in a row next season.
Tori Lust is the only starter who graduates.
“We’ll be back next year,” Katie Wick said. ”That’s my attitude right now.”