South Tama/East Marshall's girls soccer squad hosted No. 8 Union on Thursday afternoon, under cloudy skies, but cool temps and a light breeze out of the south.
ST/EM started the game with Sam Earley in goal, Sadie Kavalier, Brooke Dvorak, Haliee Weiss and Katie Behounek in defense; Sam Frundle, Grace Kavalier, Megan Wanatee and Shelby Bradley in the mid-field; with Araceli Angel and Ericka Dunning up front.
Union won the toss and took the wind in the first half. ST/EM started the game tentative and Union took full advantage of it. Union took the ball deep into the corner and a good cross found the ST/EM defense overplaying and the weak side was open for a score in the first minute.
South Tama’s Grace Kavalier, right, runs side-by-side with a Union player as they compete for possession of the ball during last week’s game. Union won the game, 6-0.
Union scored again at the 6-minute mark on a shot that the ST/EM goalie mis-judged on the bounce and the shot bounced over her head for a 2-0 score. Union scored again at the 10- and 18-minute marks for a 4-0 lead.
Union finished out the scoring in the first half with a goal off a corner at the 29-minute mark. ST/EM then finally started to play soccer the way that they can. The defense stepped up and became more aggressive and the mid-field play picked up as well.
The second half started with ST/EM playing even with the Union team. The second half was an up and down game with both teams playing a more wide open game, and most of the action in the mid-field. ST/EM started to be aggressive and started to win the 50-50 balls.
Bradley had a shoot that was just wide and Behounek had a look as well with the Union goalie making a save on it. This was a fun half to watch as ST/EM played even with Union. Yes, the team was down 5-0, but never game up and kept fighting.
Ericka had a nice run and shot at the 79 minute mark, but the Union goalie stopped the shot. Union had a nice counter-attack that resulted in a hand ball on the ST/EM defense as time ran out. Union converted the PK and the game was called. The final score was 6-0 in favor of Union.
"The second half was the best half of soccer the team has played this year," head coach Bob McBain said. "They played even with one of the better teams in the state and proved that they are capable of doing this. I think that the team was intimidated at the start of the game by Union. But once they got over this, they played well. I was very pleased with the effort. This is team still growing and improving with each game."
ST/EM will next play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Aplington-Parkersburg.