The Muscatine girls soccer team was never threatened Friday night.
Emma Freyermuth and Sophia Thomas scored one goal apiece in the opening two minutes, and Class 3A No. 13 Muscatine never trailed in a 6-1 win over Iowa City Regina on senior night at the Muscatine Soccer Complex.
Freyermuth, Thomas and Trinity Christy scored two goals apiece to lead the Muskies.
“It was good for periods of time, and other times we weren’t playing as well as we should have,” Freyermuth said. “When we did play really well it was because we were going fast and our touches were one-two and off the ball.”
That’s exactly what happened to set up Freyermuth’s goal in the first minute. Sophomore Jenna McLaughlin received a pass and found the senior streaking open up the middle of the field. Freyermuth then put the ball in the back of the net to give the Muskies a 1-0 lead.
Moments later, Thomas blasted a goal past the Regina goalie to give Muscatine (8-5) a 2-0 lead over Regina (6-9) just two minutes into the game.
However, the Muskies hit a rough patch for much of the first half, as they went 33 minutes without scoring a goal.
“We scored those two quick goals and then everybody kind of got into an individual mode,” coach Nate Meineke said. “We started dribbling the ball a little too much and not looking for the open pass. We were looking for shots instead and it wasn’t there.”
The Muskies eventually got back on track, starting Freyermuth’s second goal of the night, assisted by Meredith Connor in the 35th minute.
Thomas, who controlled much of the game from the middle of the field, found the back of the net for the second time in the 44th minute to give the Muskies a 4-0 lead.
“She’s a ballplayer,” Meineke said of Thomas. “To control it the way she does as a freshman speaks volume about her skill level.”
Christy — one of five seniors in the lineup along with Freyermuth, Vada Fridley, Emmie Smith and Gracie Brossart — scored back-to-back goals in the second half to put the cherry on top of Muscatine’s senior night blowout.
“This group of seniors, they’re just a great group of kids,” Meineke said. “I’ve enjoyed coaching them. They really set the bar high for future Muskie players.”
Iowa City Regina 2, Muscatine 0: Muscatine allowed two goals in the first half and never found offense of its own in a home loss on senior night. For the second night in a row, coach Jose Varela was pleased with the effort of his team against a ranked opponent, even if the final score wasn’t in the Muskies’ favor.
“Their effort the last two games has been really good,” Varela said. Overall, I can’t fault them for what they’ve done. They’ve played hard and gave everything they had.”
Class 1A No. 2 Regina (12-6) got on the board in the 18th minute with a goal by Archie Chiu. Nine minutes later, Alec Wick launched a shot past Muscatine goalie Carson Borde to take a 2-0 lead. That proved to be enough against a Muscatine team that’s now been shutout in four of the last five games.
“We missed a couple opportunities but we have to as a team learn to take advantage of that,” Varela said. “We’ve been trying just about everything. Sometimes you go through a little spell. … A lot of it is confidence and once the striker starts going and he’s scoring things fall into place.”
The Muskies (5-9) had chances, perhaps none greater than a penalty kick for senior Brighton Kraft in the 64th minute. Regina goalie Joshua Dutchik made a diving save and Muscatine’s chance at a rally vanished.
“We always tell them to put the ball on frame,” Varela said. “If the goalie saves it then he did his job. That’s all you can do.”