In all things, including soccer, time can become an unstoppable enemy.
Fifth-ranked Nevada beat No. 4 Regina 2-1 Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the Class 1A girls state tournament at Cownie Soccer Park.
“As it got closer to the end, we got a little bit anxious,” Regina coach Jordan Grimm said. “Maybe sometimes we took shots we shouldn’t be taking from the outside … looked good because of the situation.”
Tied 1-1 at half, Nevada went ahead early in the second half on a goal by sophomore Elli Cassabaum. Freshman Kati Cassabaum led her down the middle with a well-placed pass, and Elli Cassabaum beat several Regina defenders in the box to fire a low shot past a diving Megan Fackler in goal.
It left Regina with 35 minutes and 35 seconds to get an equalizer or head home.
“We knew we had to give it our all,” Regina junior Katie Wick said. “We didn’t want it to be over. We had to keep shooting. You never know what could go in; the goalie could fumble it. We could follow it.”
Regina (12-3) kept the pressure on the Cubs. Katie Wick took several shots from 20 to 30 yards out that flew just over the top bar, or missed wide.
With 18 minutes left, Lauren Ronnfeldt had a slide kick shot attempt that flew over the bar.
The Regals kept the pressure on the Neveda (13-5) defense.
“We tried to stay between them and the goal,” Nevada coach Randy Davis said. “We kept them maybe a little further out. They didn’t really penetrate the 18. That might’ve been the difference, if they couldn’t get inside there.”
The Nevada defense stayed in the passing lanes and forced the Regals into trying outside shots.
“We didn’t have enough players up in the box,” Katie Wick said. “That really hurt us, obviously. We had one person that had to shoot. And we couldn’t pass it. We usually do combinations and it wasn’t going.”
As time ticked away, the shot attempts came from further and further away from the goal. Katie Wick had a good look with 7 minutes remaining that went wide left. Nevada was content to play keep away.
“The whole game we didn’t really play the way we really can,” Grimm said. “Give it up to Nevada, they are a great them and they brought their A game. It’s hard to beat a great team playing on all cylinders.”
Regina had the advantage of scoring a quick goal. Just 6:28 into the game, Lizzy Deprenger scored off a pass from Jenny Wick.
“Getting the momentum early is nice, but it’s keeping it,” Grimm said. “That’s what we lacked.”
The Cubs — who haven’t lost to a Class 1A team all season — didn’t panic.
“We responded really well,” Davis said. “We didn’t let it bother us. If they get a shot, we’ve got to get one, too.”
Nevada evened the game up about 7 minutes later when Jessica Helton scored by penetrating the Regina defense down the middle.
Nevada advanced to face No. 1 Davenport Assumption (17-1) at 2:15 p.m. today in a Class 1A semifinal.
Regina says goodbye to two key seniors — goalie Megan Fackler and forward Tori Lust — but returns most of the roster.
“We’ll be back next year is my attitude right now,” Katie Wick said. “We have to keep working and getting better. But we are a really young team and we should be back next year and be even better.
“I’m looking forward to it.”