Your Prep Sports
SOLON – In a 2-1 regular season win over Solon last month Lauren Gaarde played the role of hero for Regina with a pair of late goals.
Gaarde was more than happy to not need any second-half heroics in Friday’s postseason rematch.
Greyson Dumont scored nine minutes in and Gaarde tacked on a goal late as Regina downed Solon 2-0 in the Class 1A Region 6 semifinals at Spartan Stadium in Solon.
“I was so happy when Greyson got that goal because last time we did have to wait awhile,” Gaarde said. “Just to get that goal right away and get a lead was a great feeling.”
The win was the third in its last four matches for Regina, a stretch that started with the come from behind 2-1 win over the Spartans on May 23.
Regina (6-12) will face ninth-ranked Central DeWitt (13-4) in the Region 6 title game on Monday at 6 p.m. in DeWitt.
“We won the last game with Solon but it did not look pretty and I told them if we continued to play that way we wouldn’t beat teams, this was just a totally different game,” Regina coach Anne Larew said. “The girls played so well today, they really connected with each other and the small, simple things that we have emphasized over the last couple of weeks came together and they started to click.”
Dumont got Regina started in the ninth minute when she took a pass from Gaarde and slipped a shot into the corner of the goal past Solon keeper Brianna Smith.
“Lauren and I have started to connect really well the last couple of games and she gave me a great ball to run on to,” Dumont said. “Since it’s turf it kind of slid perfectly into the corner. I thought she was going to save it but it had a good bounce too it.”
The goal was the third in the past two games and fourth of the season for Dumont and gave Regina some early momentum.
“That set the tone,” Larew said. “We settled down and we knew we could do it and so I think that just changed the whole attitude and we played calmly and under control.”
The Regals didn’t let up after the early goal.
Regina held possession for most of the game while keep Solon from mounting an attack as the Spartans played again without senior Josie Durr.
The state’s top goal scorer, Durr missed her third consecutive game with an injury as Solon closed the season 11-8.
“It felt a lot better to get a goal right away but it’s still 0-0 to us,” Dumont said. “That’s the way we looked at it, we still wanted to play like it’s 0-0.”
Gaarde gave Regina some cushion with a goal six minutes into the second half.
The junior midfielder corralled a bouncing ball and lofted a shot that sailed just over the outstretched hands of Smith for her team-leading 19th goal of the season.
“It was kind of bobbling around and kept hitting off people’s shin guards and it just kind of bounced out so I just shot it,” Gaarde said. “It ended up working out.”
Regina will attempt to win three games in a row for the first time this season on Monday when it faces Central DeWitt for a spot in the 1A state tournament.
The defending 1A runner-up, Regina is seeking a sixth consecutive state tournament appearance.
“I think that we have definitely hit a spot where we are playing our best soccer,” Gaarde said. “It’s good to see and I think everyone is really dialed in right now.”