NEVADA - The difference in number of scoring opportunities eventually won out.
Nevada punched its ticket to the Iowa Girls State Soccer Tournament after defeating Gladbrook-Reinbeck 4-1 on Monday in the Class 1A Region 4 final on Monday.
The Rebels came to the SCORE Complex having won four in a row and were in the regional finals for the first time since 2008.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck freshman Hanna Christopher lines up a shot just outside the penalty box during Monday’s regional final against Nevada in Nevada.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck (9-8) got save after save in net by Erin Wentzien and a tying goal by Emily Snider right before the half, but could not slow the attack of the Cubs (14-4) in the second half.
Nevada scored a pair of goals early in the second half to send it to the state tournament for the second time in three years.
"First half we pretty much met them," said G-R head coach Cheryl Pease. "We're playing short three of our starters due to injuries and I think the girls that were here and stepped on the field gave everything they had."
Both teams had their opportunities early. The Cubs had a loose ball in front of the G-R goal bounce out of bounds before anyone could get a foot on it, while the Rebels' Hanna Christopher put a shot on goal that Nevada's Victoria Johnston corralled.
The Cubs got the first break as Elli Cassabaum had a goal in the 9th minute for a 1-0 lead.
Snider gave Gladbrook-Reinbeck a momentum boost with her score on a direct kick from 25 yards out in the 38th minute. The goal was the team-leading 18th of the year for the all-stater Snider and gave the Rebels a much different outlook with a 1-all score at halftime.
"That really helped us," Pease said. "We felt a lot stronger going into the second half, we felt like it's a zero-zero game type of concept."
Nevada kept pushing play near the G-R goal and broke through in the second half.
The freshman Cassabaum struck again with her goal in the 51st minute that proved to be the game-winner.
Nevada added another score 4 minutes later by another freshman, Mara Rhodes. A goal by Jessica Helton in the 65th minute closed out the scoring.
Wentzien kept G-R within striking distance with a strong performance.
"Erin had 20-plus saves," Pease said. "That's exceptional. Unfortunately they had that many shots on goal, but that's exceptional."
The Rebels were 5-7 late in the year and changed their fortunes against Hudson a team they had lost to previously twice for a 8-7 win on April 17. G-R downed Aplington-Parkersburg to finish the regular season and then won its first two regional games.
The Rebels were in the regional final for the third time in the last six years. Their last appearance ended in the same fashion - losing to Nevada at Nevada in 2008.
"We've worked really hard and overcome a lot," Pease said.
"I couldn't be prouder of them," she added. "We know what we have to do to get prepared for next year."