Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – The last time Regina had a state tournament match decided by penalty kicks it resulted in a state title in 2014.
A little more penalty kick magic and a lot of big plays from freshman goalkeeper Josh Dutchik on Friday have Regina in position to add to its title count.
Dutchik came up with the only save of the penalty kick shoot as third-ranked Regina returned to the 1A title game for the sixth time in nine seasons with a 1-0 win over top-ranked and two-time defending state champion Dyersville Beckman at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.
At the start of the shootout my coach was just calming me down and he said watch his hips, watch his hips,” Dutchik said. “That’s what I did and it worked.”
Regina needed penalty kicks to edge Mid-Prairie for its fifth title in six seasons in 2014.
In the following two seasons Regina went 1-3 in state tournament matches, including a 2-0 loss to Beckman in the semifinals.
This year it was Dutchik and Regina that made the big plays late.
Dutchik saved a Riley LeGrand shot and Mason Welter converted the match-clinching penalty kick as Regina ran its winning streak to six straight.
“It definitely feels great after we had our season ended by them last year,” Regina junior Mason Welter said. “This year was kind of pay back and we were able to get the win.”
Regina (15-5) will meet second-ranked Davenport Assumption (16-6) in the 1A title game on Saturday at 12:05 p.m.
Davenport Assumption defeated Regina 1-0 in a 60-minute regular season match in Cedar Rapids on April 22.
The semifinal loss was just the second setback in the past three seasons for Beckman (18-2) and snapped a seven-match state tournament winning streak for the Blazers.
“This is the one 1A team that has really had our number the last few years,” Larew said. “We hadn’t beat them in three or four years regular season or tournament and they just have a very tough style that is hard for us to compete with.”
Beckman went unbeaten on its way to the 1A title the past two seasons, winning 47 straight matches before falling to Davenport Assumption earlier this season.
After winning five titles from 2009 to 2014 Regina took notice of Beckman’s success and adjusted to the physical game the Blazer liked to play.
On Friday that work paid off.
“We’ve work hard at this,” Larew said. “We changed our whole formation because we couldn’t beat these guys with what we were playing before so we changed things around with the idea that we had to play differently, we couldn’t just out-compete these guys in terms of being bigger and stronger so we came up with something different.”
The teams battled to a scoreless tie for 100 minutes thanks largely to the efforts of Dutchik who came up with several key saves.
None were bigger than his diving stop of a Brady Arens attempt in the 72nd minute.
“Josh was sensational today,” Larew said. “Josh was just sensational.”
Dutchik came up big again in the shootout as he positioned himself between a LeGrand rocket and used his hands and legs to keep it out of goal.
“That save I felt it kind of go back but I got lucky and it hit my shins and bounced out,” Dutchik said. “It felt good.”
Regina went 5-for-5 in penalty kick tries as Nick Pechous, Kieler Brown, Jonah Warren, Nathan Green and Welter all converted.
Following the save from Dutchik Green and Welter both hammered shots into the corner to secure the win.
“For that pk its just like any other pk at practice or in a game,” Welter said. “I just had to go up there and not panic and make the shot.