Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
WELLMAN — The soccer pitch is not a place where a hornets’ nest is normally found. Mid-Prairie head boys coach said the Golden Hawks stirred one up Tuesday, and the resulting stings were not good for the home team.
River Valley Conference teams Mid-Prairie, ranked fifth in Class 1A, with a 7-1 record and Iowa City Regina, ranked in a tie for second with a 6-4 ledger, saw the difference in the teams’ schedules show in Regina’s 6-2 win.
“We are finally playing pretty well, but it’s taken us a long time to get there,” Regina head coach Rick Larew said. “Our schedule is rugged, and we are never going to be undefeated.”
Regina plays mostly 3A schools for its opponents and Mid-Prairie plays against 1A teams.
“Losing can make you a better team and that was our message to the guys,” Pat Cady said. “We never had two goals against Regina before, and we had a couple more opportunities that we should do a better job of finishing.
“It’s a good lesson that we will learn. We are not going to tuck our tail between our legs and run, we are going to get better from this.”
When Owen Trimpe gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead 15 minutes into the game, it looked like the Hawks may be the better team.
Mid-Prairie used strategies from Burlington Notre Dame’s 4-1 win over the Regals, with forwards moving and the ball on one side, before a switch back to disorient Regina.
“We have four areas we want to play to and Owen was en route,” Cady said.
The Regina keeper seemed to play the onrushing Trimpe to go back post and left the goal open. Trimpe found all net.
“It was a great feeling to get out 1-0, and we were hoping we could keep things rolling, but I think we beat on a hornets nest,” Cady said. “And away they went.”
Regina was more organized in the midfield and more direct to the ball. The result was Alec Wick goals at 17:35, 6:46 and Levi Quinlan at 2:59 for a 3-1 halftime lead.
“It was a good goal on their part, but it made us play more of our game,” Larew said. “We play a possession game and like to get two-thirds of the way down the field and launch our attack. Alec is a special sort of kid for us.”
A goal in the first 2 minutes of the second half gave Wick a hat trick and a Kaleab Wendy goal in the 66th minute seemed to put the match out of reach.
Gunnar Gingerich brought Mid-Prairie’s reach closer when he carried a ball from midfield to blast past the Regals keeper for a 5-2 score.
Within 15 seconds, it was 6-2.
“I thought that we could’ve picked up some momentum and had started to figure things out,” Cady said. “But we can’t turn around and give up that goal.”
Discouragement ensued for Mid-Prairie. That’s something Larew fights with Regina’s tough schedule.
"We don’t want the kids to get down on themselves with too many losses,“ Larew said. ”We have a lot of young kids so that was a possibility.“
Mid-Prairie plays at Williamsburg Thursday.
Playing better teams exposes weaknesses, so a team can improve. The Golden Hawks saw plenty to work on.
“We spent too much time ball watching, and there was misunderstanding ,” Cady said. “Guys were afraid to give up the outside so it opened in the middle. We’re going to have to address that.”