Warren Regina defender Chloe Scott (10) heads the ball during a June 4 regional semifinal win over Grosse Ile High. The Saddlelites won a second straight regional title before falling in the state semifinal.

Warren Regina defender Chloe Scott (10) heads the ball during a June 4 regional semifinal win over Grosse Ile High. The Saddlelites won a second straight regional title before falling in the state semifinal.

Photo by Sean Work


Regina soccer ends another strong run in state semifinals

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published June 17, 2019

WARREN/HOWELL — The Warren Regina soccer team has a roster of 25 players and only five are seniors.

Saddlelites coach Stefano Moraccini knew he was working with a young roster, but that didn’t stop the program from winning a second straight Division 3 regional championship.

“A lot of the girls are young, but they’re talented and they work really hard,” Moraccini said. “They listen to what the coaches tell them, and they go out and execute.”

Regina’s run ended in a 1-0 loss to Essexville Garber June 11 in a state semifinal.

Garber junior Natelle Vantol hit a shot that just got over the outstretched hands of Regina sophomore goalkeeper Olivia DiSanto that put the Dukes up 1-0 with 2:05 left in the first half and proved to be the score that would put Garber into the state title game.

Garber (22-0-2) met Grand Rapids South Christian in the championship game June 14, after press time.

Garber’s run continues a season in which each round has seen the program win its first postseason title of any kind. Prior to this spring, the Dukes hadn’t ever won even a district championship.

Garber coach Troy Stewart is in his 16th, and final, season with the program. He said the team has come a long way since going 0-19 in its first season.

“This is unbelievable,” Stewart said. “That goal Natelle scored — that’s her shot. She hits that shot about 95 percent of the time. She’s a great player. She’s solid.”

Moraccini said the shot off Vantol’s foot at the angle it took would have been tough for a lot of goalkeepers to stop. The score came on the only shot on goal the Saddlelites allowed all game.

Regina (13-5-4) had a good chance to tie late, but a shot clanged off the right post with 3:07 left in regulation.

“Our defense was able to hold them to no goals outside of that one,” Moraccini said. “But you can’t win if you can’t score. We played a good game. We controlled it for much of it, but just because you control a game, that doesn’t mean you’ll win.

“We had some chances. We just didn’t follow up on our shots. We had to rebound better.”

The game signaled the end of the prep careers of five Regina seniors: Chloe Scott, Haley Iacona, Riley Bobowski, Mariana Muskovac and Brooke Marcoux. The team has 20 players eligible to return next season.

“It’s tough to end the season like this,” Moraccini said. “We wanted to win here. We wanted to play in that championship game for them. It just wasn’t our day.

“I’m very proud of the team. Playing in these types of games, in this environment, can only make them better.”