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Regina Catholic ends South Tama’s State bid

May 26, 2019
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

There were two goals the South Tama Trojans were after this season, a conference championship and a trip to State. They checked conference championship off their list, but their hopes for a run at the state tournament ended in round three of Class 1A Substate four at the hands of the Regina Catholic Regals.

The teams were originally scheduled to play on the Regals' home turf but rains from Friday forced a location change. The two teams met at the Clear Creek-Amana complex on Saturday, May 25. Starting lineups for the Trojans included Armando Jimenez, Tony Nunez, Alexis Chavarria, Roger Flores, Andrew Laybon, Osmar Galvez, Jonathan Castrejon, Jorge Davila, Jeffrey Fuentes, Jaime Angel and Jesus Chavez. Starting lineups for the Regals were Andrew Hartwig, Michael Dunn, Kieler Brown, Alec Wick, Jonah Warren, Max Petersen, Luke Marzen, Leo Gasparoni, Mason Mergen, Xavian Iben and Joshua Dutchick.

At the start of the contest there was a 14 mph west wind, mostly cloudy skies and the Trojans were defending the south goal. The first good shot of the game came eight minutes in from Regina Catholic's Kieler Brown who sailed it over the goal. Responding to Regina's threat to score, the Trojans began to make shallow advances into Regina territory but couldn't keep it there. Around the 24 minute mark Osmar Galvez took a good shot from the left side but it was saved by Regina keeper Joshua Dutchik.

Article Photos

Osmar Galvez fights for possession during the Class 1A round three substate against Regina Catholic on Saturday, May 25.
Photo by Allison Graham

Midway through the first half the Trojans were able to find some success controlling the ball and keeping the ball in Regina's territory. STC's Johnathan Castrejon took a penalty shot that went over the cross bar and out of bounds at the 22 minute mark. Just 30 seconds later Galvez was tripped which set up a free kick for the Trojans. Galvez sunk the shot near the goal but it was reflected out of bounds and Regina was able to clear it away from their goal shortly thereafter.

A few minutes later Regina's Andrew Hartwig took a shot that was stopped by STC keeper Armando Jimenez. Brown followed it up with another shot for the Regals. STC's Davila cleared the ball for the Trojans and connected with Galvez who took a running shot after sprinting down the sideline. Galvez's attempt was the most open shot the Trojans had yet to this point, but it too was off the mark.

With just under 15 minutes remaining, momentum began to shift in the Regals favor. Regina's Alex Wick took a shot from 20 yards out which sailed over the net. Jimenez had his second big save of the match after Jonah Warren took a shot from the right baseline.

Jimenez was put to work again with 2:55 remaining in the first half. Jimenez managed another save but Wick quickly rebounded the deflection to punch in the first goal of the afternoon, giving the Regals a 1-0 lead. Jimenez was put to the test again after Fuentes fouled Hartwig giving him a penalty kick. The attempt was saved yet again by Jimenez. At halftime the Regals led 1-0.

Things began to unravel for the Trojans to start the second half. Wick quickly went to work, racing ahead of STC's defense and scoring his second goal with just two minutes away in the half. He struck again at the 46 minute mark, putting the Regals up 3-0. At the 49 minute mark the Regals scored again this time courtesy Archie Chiu. It was the fourth and final score of the afternoon. The Trojans continued to attack but struggled against Regina's size and speed. Castrejon, who is third in the state for goals scored, came up against an aggressive defense. Each time Castrejon had the ball there were two to three Regals there to keep him contained.

"I think we played with them really well in the first half. They got the one goal and we made some small mistakes down the road. I think at some point you're down 4-0 you get your seniors out there and have fun at the last 20 minutes. I wish these guys could have the experience to play in the state tournament," said Nate Van Dyke.

It was a tough way for the Trojans to end the season as they really had their hearts set on a state bid. STC graduates six seniors off the varsity roster including Castrejon and four other starters. Van Dyke however, didn't dwell on the loss in the post game huddle. Instead he talked about the team's accomplishments, one being the way the community views the game of soccer.

"(In the huddle) we didn't really talk about today that much. There's always a winner and a loser and sometimes your season ends this way," said Van Dyke. "We didn't have an easy route to state so we are kind of disappointed but overall it was a great season. This team has been a pleasure to work with. We've got some great leadership. Things kind of started changing around how people look at the sport so I think we accomplished a lot."

The Trojans faced some tough competition throughout the regular season and the playoffs. During the regular season they captured quality wins over a handful of other substate final qualifiers including Beckman, Center Point-Urbana, and Solon. Then once they reached the playoffs they were tasked with matches against ranked opponents every step of the way. First against 16th ranked Mid-Prairie, then against eighth ranked Vinton-Shellsburg in a double overtime stunner, and finally against the second ranked, defending state champion, Regina Catholic.

"We didn't do too much different today. We had a few different players out there. We lost Fabian Padilla at center back but Jeffrey (Fuentes) had played there last year so we plugged him in and moved some other bodies around. Our style of play wasn't that much different. We had a good season and beat some good teams so we stuck to what we knew. We did some good things."

Meanwhile for the Regals, Saturday's substate final was all but a routine affair. Yesterday's win marked the 12th season in a row Regina Catholic will make an appearance in the State tournament. Since the IHSAA moved to three soccer classifications in 2009 there has yet to be a public school to capture a 1A state title. The Regals have won seven out of the last nine Class 1A championships and seem well on their way toward another title contention. They will move on to play in the quarterfinal round on Thursday, May 30.



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