Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – There wasn’t much that needed changing for Regina following a scoreless first half in its season opener against Solon.
Regina played with intensity in the opening 40 minutes on Tuesday, controlled possession and created scoring opportunities.
The only halftime adjustment for the Regals was finding a way to put the ball in the net.
Regina scored three goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half on its way to a 3-0 win over the Spartans at Regal Field in Iowa City.
“We wasted a lot of chances in the first half but our intensity was good so coming into the second half we didn’t change much,” Regina junior Quinn Warren said. “We just changed the way we finished and got some goals out of that.”
Three different Regals scored during the second-half spurt as the Regals avenged a 4-0 loss to Solon in last year’s opener.
“We’ve had the best spring we’ve had because the weather has cooperated and we’ve been able to get outside,” Regina coach Rick Larew said. “When we played Solon last year it was our second day outside and that makes a big difference.”
Regina had plenty of opportunities to get on the board in the opening 40 minutes but coiuldn’t take advantage.
Locked in a scoreless tie at the half the Regals didn’t panic or press.
Instead Regina relaxed and the goals came quickly.
“The second half I think we stopped forcing the ball,” Regina senior Eddie Petersen said. “The first half we were a little nervous and excited for the first game of the year, the second half we just settled the game way more, we picked when we were going to attack and it just opened up so much more.”
Warren got Regina on the board less than two minutes into the second half.
He collected a loose ball near the back post following a corner kick and slipped a shot into the lower corner to give the Regals a 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute.
“Off corners I’m usually not in the box, I’m usually playing at the back post,” Warren said. “I often get that second ball coming to me so it’s just about finishing it.”
Regina quickly made it 2-0 when Petersen added a goal a little more than four minutes later.
The goal by Petersen gave Regina a cushion in the 46th minute.
“As a center back obviously you always want to get a goal,” Petersen said. “I saw Kyle Evans and he left one for me perfectly and I didn’t even have to call it he just left it and I was wide open.”
Joe Maley capped the scoring with a goal off a Laird Holden assist in the 54th minute.
“We came in at halftime and we knew we were playing well we just had to settle and then we needed to put one away,” Petersen said. “We knew once we put one away more would come.”
Regina is coming off a rare sub-.500 season, going 10-12 a year ago but has an experienced roster this season after playing plenty of underclassmen while going 22-20 over the previous two seasons.
“We were young the last two years, we have a lot of kids that have played three years and the motivation is extremely high,” Larew said. “The kids loving playing, they are good kids and they are really motivated. They work hard and take coaching well.”