Powerhouse Titan squad ends Cyclone girls soccer season

 COUNCIL BLUFFS (June 2) -- The Harlan Community girls soccer team can take heart in the fact that their season was ended by one of the top programs in Iowa’s Class 2A.
 Lewis Central, which won three consecutive 2A state championships from 2016-2018, looks poised for another possible title run in 2021.
 The 2nd-ranked Titans beat HCHS 8-0 in a Region 2 semifinal last Wednesday, breaking open a close game as Haley Bach scored four goals during a 12-minute span of the first and second halves.
 Lewis Central (17-2) also topped Glenwood 4-1 in Friday’s regional final and will now face No. 7 seed Dallas Center-Grimes (13-5) in a state tourney quarterfinal on Tuesday (1:00 p.m.) at Des Moines’ Cownie Soccer Complex.
 HCHS head coach Jared Boysen believes that this year’s Titan squad stacks up well compared to some of the past title winners based on their speed and depth.
 “They had a few bigger, stronger girls in the past but these girls I think are faster, it seemed like, at all the positions,” Boysen said. “Even their wings and their defense - they all had speed. I think they’ll be right up there again just like they have been in the past.”
 Just as they did in a 10-0 home loss to LC on May 17, the Cyclones hung around for about a half, trailing 3-0 at the break. The score was just 1-0 until early in the 34th minute, when Bach took a pass from freshman Isabel McNeal, found herself one-on-one with a defender and scored with the left foot.
 Bach split two defenders on a short breakaway and scored again with 1:38 left in the half, then broke loose twice in the first four and a half minutes of the second half to put the Titans firmly in control at 5-0.
 Lewis Central finished with a 29-1 advantage in total shots (21-1 shots on goal), but for about the first 30 minutes the Cyclones stayed on their feet well and didn’t make things easy. Eventually, the Titans’ large volume of shots turned into quality shots on goal and the points followed.
 “Especially there in the second half, when you get tired and you give them space, they know how to finish from any spot around the box,” Boysen said.
 “I thought the first half we were on their feet more and didn’t give them many open looks and I think that made a difference. (It was) 1-0 for quite a while - that was a good stretch - and then... they have so many weapons from every spot.”
 Bach added two assists to her four-goal night while Hannah Estrada, who scored the game’s first goal in the 10th minute, finished with two goals and had one assist. Gracie Hays placed a shot over the keeper for a second-half goal and Amara Orth capped the scoring with 14:21 remaining.
 As LC filtered in some reserves late, HCHS moved Kaia Bieker to the back line of the defense and was able to hold firm the rest of the way, snapping a string of five straight 10-0 mercy-rule defeats at the hands of the Titans.
 The Cyclones still haven’t scored vs. LC in 11 straight matchups, but they were pleased to at least go the full distance on Wednesday.
 “That’s what we kind of talked about - getting better than the last time and leave it all out there,” Boysen said. “I’m proud of the way we fought. A lot of them have a lot of other things (going on). They’re playing basketball and they’ve got the softball (season). We just kind of ran out of gas, but I’m proud of where we’re at. We don’t have any seniors.”
 Freshman Darbie Argotsinger fired a long, low kick for Harlan’s only shot of the game while junior goalie Lexi Musich collected 13 saves on a busy night in the net.
 This year’s Cyclone team finished 9-10 overall with some relatively close losses along the way despite having just one class - the juniors - with any previous varsity experience.
 Boysen hopes to see that record improve next spring with everybody back and being able to turn around some of this year’s 3-2 and 4-1 losses.
 “Especially with a lot of freshmen and the sophomores that basically didn’t get to play last year, it’s kind of their first time playing so I think we improved a lot throughout (the season),” he said.
 “I think next year hopefully we can try to build on that... With everybody coming back and then another freshmen group coming in, hopefully we start a little higher.”

2A Girls Regional Soccer • June 2 • at Council Bluffs
Lewis Central 8, Harlan Community 0
Lewis Central: Hannah Estrada goal (assisted) - 1st half, 30:07 left.
Lewis Central: Haley Bach goal (assisted) - 1st half, 6:58 left.
Lewis Central: Haley Bach goal (unassisted) - 1st half, 1:38 left.
Lewis Central: Haley Bach goal (assisted) - 2nd half, 38:02 left.
Lewis Central: Haley Bach goal (assisted) - 2nd half, 35:39 left.
Lewis Central: Gracie Hays goal (assisted) - 2nd half, 27:56 left.
Lewis Central: Hannah Estrada goal (unassisted) - 2nd half, 17:58 left.
Lewis Central: Amara Orth goal (unassisted) - 2nd half, 14:21 left.
 Total Shots: HCHS 1 (Darbie Argotsinger 1), LC 29.
 Shots on Goal: HCHS 1 (Argotsinger 1), LC 21 (Bach 5, Estrada 4, Hana Daoudi 3).
 Goalie Saves: HCHS 13 (Lexi Musich 13), LC 1 (Hannah Lucy).
 Corner Kicks: HCHS 0, LC 6.

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