DES MOINES– How many times can a teenager say they made history?
For the Solon girls’ soccer team, that’s a resounding “Yes, we can!”
The Lady Spartans traveled to Cownie Soccer Park in Des Moines last Thursday for their first-ever appearance at the state tournament, paired up in the first round with Iowa City Regina in the Class 1A bracket.
The two teams had met just weeks earlier at Iowa City, where the Regals prevailed, 2-1.
Unfortunately for Solon fans, the rematch at state ended the same way, with Regina taking a 4-1 win over the Lady Spartans.
“I am thrilled that we were able to achieve our goal of making it to state this year. They have worked so hard, and have really put in the extra effort to make it happen,” commented Coach John Tucker.
The pace of the game was set when Regina scored its first goal with 30:22 left in the first half by outmaneuvering Solon’s defense and shooting one-on-one with Solon goalkeeper Katie Silberstein.
Solon’s defense did its best to try to stop the Regals’ strong offensive team, but were unable to keep them from scoring another goal with 17:29 left in the first half and two more in the second period. Regina’s defensive strategy had midfield and defensive players playing tight near the box and Solon was unable to break through.
“The score doesn’t reflect how well these girls played,” Tucker said after the game. “I don’t think either team dominated. It was very even. They had a couple breaks– they scored. We had a couple of breaks and didn’t score. Hit the post a couple of times– should’ve gone in. Just one of those things.”
Lady Spartan Emma Moss scored Solon’s only goal during a one-on-one penalty kick halfway through the second half.
The Regals went on to lose to Nevada in overtime in the semifinal, 1-0. Davenport Assumption took the 1A championship, 3-0.
“Obviously we would have liked to see a different outcome in our first game at state, but what an accomplishment for this team to make history as being the first team from Solon to make it there,” Tucker said. “The seniors this year are a special group. They have been through a lot together over the past four years, worked amazingly well together, and have helped raise the level of play for the entire team. They are leaders both on and off the field, and have proven that they are one of the great classes to go through our program. They will certainly be missed, and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”
A couple of Solon’s seniors head out to continue their soccer careers on a collegiate level. Forward Alyssa Stotler will be playing for Coe College as a KoHawk in Division III Collegiate Athletics and goalie Katie Silberstein will still be a Spartan but will be joining the University of Dubuque Spartans in Division II Collegiate Athletics.