The Union Knights knew going into their opening match at the Girls’ State Soccer Tournament would be a challenge. Their opponent, #4 ranked Iowa City Regina, entered the match with an impressive 15-3 record. To make matters worse, Union would take to the pitch without their leading goal scorer, Courtney Powell. Powell was declared ineligible to play after being ejected with seven seconds to play in Union’s sub-state final against Center Point-Urbana on June 8.
In the face of adversity, the Knights responded with a spirited effort that came up short of a victory, losing the match by a score of 3-2. After giving up a score to Regina 20 minutes into the match, Dayton Powell’s goal late in the first half drew the Knights even at 1-1.
Regina, though, regained the lead early in the second half. Another goal 15 minutes later extended the lead to 3-1. Refusing to quit, the Knights continued to battle. A Lauren Phillips goal with three minutes left in the match cut the lead in half. That was as close as Union would get, though, as time ran out before the Knights could make another charge at the Regina net.