In an instant classic Tuesday afternoon at the Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines, #2 Iowa City Regina outlasted #4 Mid-Prairie by a 1-0 score, winning the match on extra penalty kicks 3-2. Regina controlled possession throughout the first half though was only able to mount two quality chances, Michael Adam took both shots, one a header in the 25th minute that was handled by Spencer Shalla, the other on a Golden Hawk turnover deep in their own end flew harmlessly over the crossbar. Leaving the game in a scoreless tie going to the break.
In the second half Regina continued to control possession through the first 25 minutes but Mid-Prairie turned the tide with a nice five to six minute rush in which they put three shots on goal but were turned away by the Regal keeper. The best chance of the day came in the 75th minute when Adam sent a shot on goal from the corner of the 18. The ball kicked off the crossbar and stayed loose in the box as the Golden Hawks desperately tried to clear. The Regina chance lasted more than 30 seconds before Jordan Ulin was finally able to clear for the Golden Hawks. The game remained scoreless through regulation.
In overtime it was goalkeeper Spencer Shalla’s turn to shine. He single handled kept Mid-Prairie alive in the sudden death situation making five sparking saves on shots that would have ended the game. After 80 minutes of regulation and two 10 minute overtime periods neither team found the back of the net, leading to penalty kicks to decide the title. Each team chose their best five and went back to the pitch.
Regina went first and Nick Ziniel put it in the back of the net to make it 1-0. The Hawks missed their first try but Spencer Shalla closed down the Regals second chance. Nick Stimson would tie it with his attempt, leaving things at 1-1 through two PKs. Both keepers saved their teams third shots and Emilio Tovar made it 2-1 Regals on Regina’s fourth attempt. The Hawks would miss on their fourth leaving the score at 2-1 and forcing Spencer Shalla to make a save to keep the Hawks alive. Shalla did it again flying to his left he deflected the ball out of bounds. Down to their last kick to stay in it Mid-Prairie’s Dustin Yoder beat the keeper and the match went to extra penalty kicks. In extra penalty kicks Conner Brown beat Shalla to make it 3-2 Regina. The Golden Hawks called on Jarrett Truit, who was unable to match the Regals giving Regina the state title. Following the match Head Coach Pat Cady talked about his teams effort and the match.
“Defense played great once again, Spencer Shalla did an excellent job in goal, especially when it came to PK’s he knocked two down, that’s not something a goal keep is supposed to do. We knew it was going to be tough defense, they were giving up less than a goal a game, we were giving up less than a goal a game, whoever was going to make the mistake on the field was going to be the one that [let a goal in], and neither team really made any mistakes. We had a couple times were we started to get into trouble, and we have a couple people recover, we got reset pretty quick. At the start of the game, I don’t know if the guys were over thinking a little bit, they came out a little panicked, a little too over hyped. We were not connecting passes to feet, we were doing too much running around, [but] we settled down just before the end of the half and things got better.”
The championship is the fourth straight for Iowa City Regina. The loss leaves Mid-Prairie with a runner up finish in class 1A, their best finish in school history, and a 17-3 record, also the best mark for a Golden Hawk boys soccer team. Tune in to the PM Sports Page tonight as we have full highlights, player and coaches comments from the Golden Hawks run to the state tournament and their time in Des Moines.