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Rebels overthrow No. 2 Regals

No. 14 Gladbrook-Reinbeck/Grundy Center trips Regina 2-1

April 24, 2016
STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD - Central Iowa Press , Reinbeck Courier

REINBECK - Fans paid for their full seat but only needed the edge of it during Friday night's boys soccer showdown between Class 1A No. 2 Iowa City Regina and No. 14 Gladbrook-Reinbeck/Grundy Center.

After a scoreless first half, Erik Knaack and Walker Thede were able to put the Rebels (3-0-0) ahead to get the upset win against Regina (3-1-0).

It was Thede's go-ahead goal, just 30 seconds after Regina's Nick Pechous found the back of the goal from 15 yards out to equalize the score, which helped the Rebels edge the visiting Regals.

Article Photos

Gladbrook-Reinbeck/Grundy Center’s Erik Knaack (11) works to control the ball against Iowa City Regina’s Tommy Rapp (12) during the first half of the Rebels’ match against the Regals on Friday night in Reinbeck. The No. 14 Rebels won 2-1, with Knaack scoring the Rebels’ first goal early in the second half.

"The guy who normally takes that kick was out on the bench," Thede said of his go-ahead goal. "We had another guy to set up to do that, and I filled in his spot. I just looked for it, and there was nobody there except me and the [goalkeeper]. He just put the ball up in there air, I put my foot on it and it went straight in."

Senior goalie Josh Cooley made a diving save to keep the score in favor of the Rebels, 1-0. But in the 65th minute, Pechous equalized the score, gaining back some momentum and proving why the Regals were one of the top teams in the state.

Head coach Kirk Dinsdale prepared his team all week, but not any harder or anything different than the ordinary preparation, despite forging against the No. 2 Regina boys.

"There were a couple of pretty good teams going at it out there tonight," Dinsdale said. "We really respect their program and we knew coming in it was going to be a battle. But our kids were prepared for it and they stepped up to the challenge."

Dinsdale knew coming into the 2016 campaign both the Regals and the Rebels were short on a few games in the previous season, and went out to ask if he could schedule the highly-ranked Regals this year.

Knowing it wasn't going to be an easy win, Thede said the Rebels were looking to just get some experience and an idea of where the team was at, but it was even sweeter coming away with the win.

For Dinsdale, it sets the tone and even puts a target on the Rebels' backs early on this year.

"This is the first time we've ever played them, and that's why we wanted to play them," Dinsdale said. "I love to play good teams because it makes you better at that point. It doesn't do you any good to beat teams 10 or 12-0.

"This game here benefitted both us and them. We were fortunate enough to come away with the victory, but both teams benefitted from it in my opinion."

Thede said he'd rather be the ones being chased rather than the ones having to hunt down the next opponent and be looking for upsets continuously.

Thomas Mussig, who received a yellow card in the second half on a slide tackle, came just inches to scoring the first goal of the game. On a corner kick, Mussig headed the ball right into the goalie's chest, missing the net by just inches in the 12th minute.

The Rebels had a chance to go up 3-1 in the 70th minute off a corner kick, but a header in a cluster of players missed the Regina goal wide left.

With five minutes remaining in the contest, Cooley made another critical save, batting a strike up and over the Rebels' net, sealing the victory for G-R/GC.



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