CENTER POINT, Iowa — The rematch was even closer.
The result was agonizingly similar.
Tara Hansel and Paige McDermott scored shootout goals for Dyersville Beckman, but Center Point-Urbana goalkeeper Carlie Foltz stopped the final two shots she saw as the Class 1A No. 3-ranked Stormin’ Pointers survived the No. 14 Trailblazers, 1-0, in their Class 1A regional final on Monday at Fross Park.
CPU beat Beckman, 1-0, in double overtime in their regular-season meeting on May 24. With another chance and even higher stakes, the Blazers fell heartbreakingly short.
“We were just really hoping we could come here, get a quick goal and then play defense and just shut them down,” said Hansel, a senior midfielder. “We weren’t able to get a quick goal. But we’re really happy we made it this far. We just really wanted to make it to state this year.”
CPU (16-2) advanced to Thursday’s state quarterfinals at Cownie Soccer Park in Des Moines. Beckman, which has never qualified for state, ended the season 12-7.
“It is painful, because we could just as easily be down there,” Blazers coach Greg Keegan said. “I was really looking forward to having them get that opportunity and it just kind of slipped away.”
The Pointers outshot Beckman, 15-10, and finished with a slim 8-7 advantage in shots on goal. Each team had a handful of chances in regulation and overtime, but neither could solve the opposing goalkeeper.
Haley LeGrand made eight saves for the Blazers. Foltz finished with six, plus the two in the shootout, for CPU.
“Over time I thought we were going to take it because we were getting some really good shots, but it really just sucks right now,” Hansel said.
Beckman’s best chances came right before halftime.
Ashley Engelken put a shot past Foltz, but a defender standing at the goal line was able to poke the ball away before it crossed the line. Just moments later, Engelken did put a shot into the net, but was flagged for offsides.
“They played hard. They played well,” Keegan said of his team. “The seniors gave it their all. They wanted it more than anything. We were in the huddle and they were the ones doing most of the talking. I didn’t have to do much coaching and we had some pretty good pushes there.”
CPU’s biggest threat came midway through the second half as a free kick was stopped by LeGrand but the rebound fell to the feet of a Pointer on the doorstep of the goal. The shot missed wide. Another shot 4 minutes later clanged off the crossbar.
“We were working our butts off and trying to shut them down,” Hansel said. “They’re really good and they have a lot of stamina. But, we held in.”
Madison Van Vors, Adrianna Katcher, Blasi Whitehead and Lauren Dufoe scored in the shootout for CPU.
Beckman graduates seven seniors, including four starters.
“My teammates are the greatest teammates I’ve ever had,” Hansel said. “I’m going to miss them. The younger kids, my classmates, I’m just really going to miss them all.”