Warren Regina soccer players and coach Stefano Morracini, right, hoist the team's Division 3 regional championship trophy after a 2-0 June 6 win over Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard.

Warren Regina soccer players and coach Stefano Morracini, right, hoist the team's Division 3 regional championship trophy after a 2-0 June 6 win over Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard.

Photo by Jason Carmel Davis


Regina soccer outguns Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard to claim second straight regional championship

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published June 6, 2019

LIVONIA — For the second straight year, the Warren Regina soccer team finds itself two wins away from a Division 3 state title.

The Saddlelites knocked off Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 2-0 June 6 to claim a second consecutive D-3 regional crown. Prior to this current run, Regina hadn’t won a regional championship since 2005.

“I’m really proud of these girls. They work really hard and they come to play every day,” Regina coach Stefano Moraccini said.

“They’re a physical team. They do what the coaches ask them to do. They like to possess the ball and take advantage of scoring chances when they can. We’d like to have more, but for tonight we’ll take two.”

Regina (13-4-3) advances to face either Essexville Garber or Williamston High in a state semifinal at 6 p.m. June 11 at Howell Parker Middle School. The D-3 championship game is set for 1 p.m. June 14 at Michigan State University.

The Saddlelites fell in the state semis last season to Flint Powers Catholic.

In the June 6 regional final, the trend of freshmen making big plays for the Saddlelites in the regional round continued, as first-year player Jen Mateyak hit a laser that got past the Fighting Irish goalkeeper to give Regina a 1-0 lead with 9:20 left in the first half. Two freshmen — Mia Iacona and Avery Sikorski — scored all three of the team's goals in a 3-2 June 4 regional semifinal win over Grosse Ile High.

“I just saw an opening and took the shot,” Mateyak said. “This is awesome to be a part of.”

Gabriel Richard freshman goalkeeper Lainey Garbarz made several stops to keep her team in the game, including a diving, two-handed block with 20:17 left in regulation to keep the deficit at 1-0.

Saddlelites senior Riley Bobowski in a scrum was able to find the ball and put a shot past Garbarz to put Regina up 2-0 with 15:18 left in regulation.

Regina with the win moved to 2-1-0 this season against Gabriel Richard. The Fighting Irish end the season at 5-12-1.

“Credit to (Gabriel Richard),” Morracini said. “They came to play.”